In June, illegal border crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border reached their lowest level since President Joe Biden’s first month in office.
Border officials apprehended 99,545 individuals between ports of entry, marking a significant 42 percent drop from May. This decline follows the Biden administration’s implementation of new immigration policies aimed at addressing border challenges, particularly after lifting Title 42, a pandemic-era order that allowed for the immediate expulsion of many migrants on Covid-19 prevention grounds.
Total border encounters in June, including those who presented at ports of entry with or without appointments through the CBP One app, amounted to just under 145,000. This figure represents a 30 percent decrease from May and is the second-lowest total in two years.
The Biden administration has highlighted this decline as a positive result of its “carrot-and-stick” policy approach, which combines consequences for unlawful border crossers with an expansion of lawful pathways and processes for individuals seeking legal entry into the country. They view the decrease in illegal crossings as a significant achievement.
However, the administration still faces legal challenges related to its immigration policies. A federal judge is set to hear a case challenging the administration’s asylum ban, which bars certain migrants from applying for asylum if they cross the border illegally or fail to seek safe harbor in another country while en route to the U.S. If this ban is blocked, it would represent a setback for the administration’s deterrence measures.
Despite the declining numbers, the southern border remains a politically contentious issue, with Republicans using it as a focal point for criticism. While the administration views the reduced crossings as a positive outcome, they acknowledge that a comprehensive solution to immigration challenges will require legislative action in Congress.