While in previous years the number of encounters has declined during the winter months of December and January, the total in 2020 increased by three percent from November.
In Texas sectors alone, CBP reports that apprehensions increased by six percent from November to December.
The El Paso sector saw the largest jump in apprehensions from 8,700 in November to 11,000 in December.
In total, the 71,000 apprehensions nationwide and 47,000 in Texas are the highest numbers seen since July 2019.
CBP released the data for December using a new dashboard that provides more information on the number of encounters, including citizenship data.
Notably, though the total has increased slightly, the amount of single Mexican adults encountered by CBP has declined from a high of 43,000 in October to 36,000 in December.
While families largely drove the record high number of border crossings seen during the summer of 2019, they have accounted for a small fraction of encounters since then.
Especially since the pandemic began last March, single adults — and especially those from Mexico — have accounted for the overwhelming majority of encounters.
Single adults from outside of Mexico, including El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, accounted for 28,000 of the encounters in December, the highest it has been in the past four years.
As of January, CBP also announced that over 450 miles of border wall system have been constructed.
“The border wall system, as part of a multi-layered border security enforcement strategy, does yield effective results. Anyone saying infrastructure is not effective is either misinformed, misguided, or has a hidden agenda and is flat out wrong,” said acting CBP commissioner Mark Morgan.
President Trump is expected to visit the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday to mark the progress on the border wall system.