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Illegal Border Crossings From Mexico Plunge After a Record-High

Arrests for illegal crossings on the U.S. border with Mexico fell by half in January from record highs in December to the third lowest month of Joe Biden’s presidency, authorities said Tuesday. The sharp drop is welcome news for the White House, even if it proves temporary, the Associated Press reports. Seasonal declines and heightened enforcement by the U.S. and its allies led to the sharp decline, said Troy Miller, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. U.S. authorities have repeatedly praised Mexico for a crackdown launched in late December. Border Patrol arrests totaled 124,220 in January, down 50% from 249,735 in December, the highest monthly tally on record.

Numbers ebb and flow, and the January decline may prove tenuous. Panama reported that 36,001 migrants traversed the notorious Darien Gap in January, up 46% from December. During an interview with The Associated Press in January, Mayorkas said that Mexico’s immigration enforcement agency didn’t have the funds in December to carry out enforcement actions but when that was rectified, there was an immediate and substantial drop in the number of migrants encountered at the southern border. When including migrants who were allowed to enter the United States under new or expanded legal pathways, migrant encounters totaled 176,205 in January after topping 300,000 for the first time in December. U.S. authorities admitted about 45,000 people at land crossings with Mexico in January through an online appointment system called CBP One, bringing the total to 459,118 since it was introduced a year earlier.


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