According to figures released on Friday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), enforcement encounters with illegal aliens continued to break a 20-year record with 188,829 attempting entry in June.
The total is a five percent increase from what CBP reported in May, and there have been almost 1.1 million land encounters in the southwestern U.S. Fiscal Year-to-date.
Most of the southwest region’s enforcement June encounters ended with deportation under Title 42, the protocols implemented to protect the U.S. from the coronavirus. Last month, there were 104,907 expulsions under the policy, which applies to single adults and family units but not unaccompanied minors. Led by Attorney General Ken Paxton, the State of Texas has challenged that exemption in federal court.
The most dramatic increase in Texas, numerically speaking, was an uptick in family unit apprehensions in the Rio Grande Valley from a reported 20,529 encounters in May to last month’s 27,777. There was also a 34 percent increase in family unit apprehensions in the Del Rio sector. On the other hand, the El Paso and Laredo sectors saw drops in family unit apprehensions by 24 and 29 percent respectively.
In Texas sectors overall, there was a 30 percent increase in family unit apprehensions as compared to May, an 11 percent increase in unaccompanied minor encounters, and a two percent drop in single adult apprehensions. The sector-specific data is current as of July 6, according to the CBP website.
In a press statement, CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller emphasized the summertime temperatures and the ruthlessness of human smugglers.
“We are in the hottest part of the summer, and we are seeing a high number of distress calls to CBP from migrants abandoned in treacherous terrain by smugglers with no regard for human life,” Miller said.
“Although CBP does everything it can to locate and rescue individuals who are lost or distressed, the bottom line is this: the terrain along the border is extreme, the summer heat is severe, and the miles of desert migrants must hike after crossing the border in many areas are unforgiving.”
An example of the danger of human smuggling activity occurred this week in the Big Bend sector, where smugglers attempted to move 74 illegal aliens in travel trailers. The alleged offenses included two American citizens.
Former CBP commissioner Mark Morgan, who served under President Trump and is now a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, placed the blame squarely on President Biden.
“[The Biden administration] has willfully advanced policies to open our borders, reinstitute catch-and-release, and create an unprecedented flood of illegal immigration on our southern border. Make no mistake, the Biden administration has sparked a constitutional crisis in pursuit of what it perceives to be a political benefit. At this point, what other logical explanation is there?” Morgan said in a Heritage Foundation press release.
“Federal, state, and local leaders should use their considerable authority to thwart this administration’s open-borders agenda at every turn. Texas is already leading the way here, and I’m glad to see other states stepping up to support them,” Morgan added.
Abbott has enlisted the support of DeSantis and other states to combat illegal crossing. The State of Florida deployed law enforcement to Texas in June via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.