McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) – The month before Title 42 border health restrictions were lifted, the number of asylum-seekers encountered on the Southwest border in April rose 10%, according to data released Wednesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Overall encounters totaled 211,401, up from 191,956 in March, CBP says.

Border Patrol apprehensions of those entering between U.S. ports of entry were up 12% from March to 182,113, CBP reports.

“As part of our planning for the end of the Title 42 public health order, we have surged resources, technology, and personnel to safely and orderly manage challenges along the southern border – while at the same time, maintaining a persistent focus on our other missions to ensure national and economic security,” CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement.

Title 42 was lifted Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT, and immediately replaced with Title 8 enforcement actions, which require asylum-seekers to apply for asylum interviews via the CBP One app, or at regional processing centers in other countries. Those who cross in between legal ports of entry, DHS says, are now being sent back to Mexico or their home countries.

But Title 8 expulsions, according to the data, also were on the rise in April. Half of all single adults processed for expulsion – 75,272 – were done so under Title 8. While 86% of families encountered – 50,559, were processed under Title 8.

Since Title 42 was sunset, the number of migrants apprehended on the border have dropped significantly, DHS officials said Wednesday.

But CBP compile monthly encounter numbers and the agency usually takes two weeks to release the data for the previous month. So the April numbers reflect a surge in migration that occurred prior to the lifting of Title 42.

This was especially prevalent in South Texas, where 30,000 Venezuelans crossed from Matamoros, Mexico, into Brownsville, Texas, from mid-April through Thursday night.

Migrants sit in tall grass on April 25, 2023, awaiting apprehension and transport by Border Patrol after crossing from Matamoros, Mexico, into Brownsville, Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

CBP reports that two-thirds of all migrants encountered in April were “unique encounters,” meaning they had not been seen before on the border. And the vast majority – 25,514 – were Venezuelans.

Other data released by CBP found that in April:

  • The number of families crossing the border increased by 28%.
  • Single adults crossing the border increased by 5%
  • Unaccompanied minors decreased by 7%.
  • 23% of migrants were “repeat encounters.”

With Title 8 rules, migrants who are sent back to Mexico or other countries cannot try to re-enter the United States for five years. If they do, they face criminal prosecution and a possible 20-year ban.