There has been a nearly 70% drop in illegal U.S.-Mexico border entries since early May as the Biden administration began changing how asylum seekers and migrants are processed along the border since May 11, when the pandemic immigration policy Title 42 was lifted, reports the Washington Post. Biden is allowing tens of thousands of migrants to enter the U.S. legally each month through the mobile app CBP One, while those who don’t follow the rules face ramped-up deportations and tougher penalties. After two years of record crossings, the administration appears to have better control over the southern border than at any point since early 2021.
The president’s critics continue to depict his border policies as too permissive, but the decline in illegal crossings undermines a key line of attack for Republicans. Administration officials acknowledge it is too soon to tell whether their new approach can achieve lasting effects. Republican state officials are suing in federal court to block Biden’s policies expanding legal entries through CBP One. At the same time, immigrant advocacy groups have filed challenges in federal court to Biden’s new border restrictions on asylum seekers who cross illegally. Imelda Maynard of Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services in El Paso, which aids migrants, described the past several weeks in the city as “eerily quiet.”