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Migration along the U.S-Mexico border dropped significantly in January

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: Migrants get on the patrol vehicle of the U.S. Border Patrol on February 13, 2024 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Qian Weizhong/VCG )
Qian Weizhong/VCG/Qian Weizhong/VCG via Reuters Co
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: Migrants get on the patrol vehicle of the U.S. Border Patrol on February 13, 2024 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Qian Weizhong/VCG )

U.S. Customs and Border Protection finds migrant encounters along the southwest border dropped significantly in January.

U.S. Border Patrol recorded 124,220 encounters between ports of entry along the southwest border last month.

“As a result of season trends, as well as enhanced enforcement efforts by the men and women of CBP and our international partners, southwest border encounters between ports of entry dropped 50% in January,” said Troy Miller, acting CBP Commissioner, in a press release.

Total encounters — which include individuals who presented themselves at ports of entry and those with CBP One appointments — reached 176,205.

That’s down 42% from December 2023 and is the lowest recorded number so far during fiscal year 2024.

Encounters were still higher in January 2024 compared to the same month in previous years.

“We continue to experience serious challenges along our border which surpass the capacity of the immigration system,” Miller said.

CBP said it continues to analyze and respond to changes in migration patterns.

Mexico has been cracking down on smuggling networks and increasing patrols along heavy transportation routes. There are also reports of Mexican officials clearing some migrant camps along the border.

The drop in migration comes as the Republican-controlled U.S. House voted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over what they call a failure to enforce border policy.

Mia Ehrenberg, a DHS spokesperson, said in a statement that the impeachment was done "without a shred of evidence or legitimate Constitutional grounds."

"House Republicans will be remembered by history for trampling on the Constitution for political gain rather than working to solve the serious challenges at our border," Ehrenberg said.

Border & Immigration Fronteras: Migration Policy Institute says Biden’s presidency mired by border crisis narratives despite 535 immigration actions Norma Martinez

A recent analysis from the Migration Policy Institute examined President Biden’s first three years in office and found global push factors — including war, violence, instability, and economic spiral — continue to drive the number of migrant arrivals to the U.S.

“Our ability to manage our border with Mexico turn to our relations not only with Mexico, but also with the countries from where people are fleeing and coming to the border,” said Kathleen Bush-Joseph, a policy analyst with MPI.

She explained that changes in migration numbers shift as points of arrival change over time.

“There tends to be a resurgence of people once conditions change or they figure out how to cross or where to cross," she said. "So, the attribution of ‘success’ to any particular measure is really difficult to assess.”

Copyright 2024 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

TPR's News Director Katz leads the organization’s news and journalism efforts, overseeing the newsroom’s day-to-day management and the development of a strategic vision for the news division. He also serves on the organization’s executive leadership team. TPR’s news team currently has 16 staff members, including reporters dedicated to in-depth coverage of subjects including Arts & Culture, Bioscience & Medicine, Education, Technology & Entrepreneurship, Military & Veterans Issues and State Government.
Marian Navarro