Migrant encounters at the southwest border rose nearly 27 percent from July to August, driven mostly by apprehensions made by the Border Patrol away from ports of entry.
U.S. officials last month encountered 232,972 people entering the United States without authorization through the southwest border, up from 183,494 in July, according to numbers released by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Friday.
“CBP remains vigilant in the face of ruthless smugglers and transnational criminal organizations who exploit vulnerable migrants, the same criminal organizations trafficking in lethal drugs that harm our communities,” said Troy Miller, the agency’s acting commissioner.
Officials largely attribute the rising migrant encounters to smuggling networks that are professionalizing and adapting to deterrence and prosecution efforts in the United States, Mexico and Central America.
Unauthorized crossings at ports of entry remained essentially static at 51,913 in August compared to 50,846 in July, but the Border Patrol’s apprehensions between ports of entry jumped to 181,859 in August from 132,648 in July.