The number of migrants detained at the US-Mexico border in July exceeded 200,000 for the first time in 21 years, government data has revealed..
According to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a total of 212,672 migrants were apprehended in July, Its highest level in 21 years including an all-time high of 19,000 unaccompanied minors.
The July figure represents the highest monthly total since April 2000 – the latest sign of the growing humanitarian crisis facing the Joe Biden administration .
July’s numbers are a 13% increase from June, when over approximately 188,000 migrants were detained by US border control as they traveled across the 2000 mile border.. In May, 180,000 migrants were stopped in attempted crossings.
On Thursday, US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described the situation as “one of the toughest challenges” the country faces.
“It is complicated, changing and involves vulnerable people at a time of a global pandemic,” he said.
In early August, the Biden administration announced that it would indefinitely use a Trump-era pandemic policy that allows the US to swiftly expel undocumented migrants. Unaccompanied children and some families are exempt.
CBP data shows that 27% of the migrants detained last month had at least one prior encounter with authorities in the past year. The remaining 154,288 were recorded as “unique individuals”. Between 2014 and 2019, the re-encounter rate stood at 14%.
Tens of thousands of people from the Central American nations of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have tried to enter the US in recent years.
The reasons migrants give for undertaking the dangerous journey include family, better economic opportunity, or the chance to escape violence and corruption.