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Mexican Border Arrests Up At Fastest Pace in Two Decades

The U.S. has made more than a million arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border since October, the fastest pace of illegal border crossings in at least the last two decades, according to data released Monday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Border agents made 209,906 arrests in March, making it the busiest month in two decades, the Wall Street Journal reports. Another 11,397 migrants were permitted to enter the U.S. to seek humanitarian protection at land border crossings. The numbers cover a period from Oct. 1 to the end of March. The numbers included a sharp rise in migrants from Cuba and Ukraine. About 32,271 Cubans crossed illegally at the border in March alone—almost as high as the 38,390 Cubans who crossed in all of the last fiscal year. So far this year, 79,377 Cubans have crossed the border illegally. Nearly 5,000 Ukrainians were allowed to enter the U.S. on temporary humanitarian grounds, primarily at a border checkpoint near San Diego. The record numbers come as the Biden administration prepares to lift a pandemic-era border policy on May 23. Title 42, which was implemented under President Trump, allows border agents quickly to turn away people who are arrested trying to enter the U.S. illegally as well as those who seek asylum at a border checkpoint. Of the 1.01 million crossings so far this year, roughly fifty one percent resulted in the migrant being expelled under Title 42, while the rest were processed under normal immigration procedures, meaning they were either rapidly deported, detained or released to seek asylum. Even with Title 42 in place, the Biden administration presided over the highest number of border arrests on record last year. Administration officials have acknowledged that revoking the policy is likely to result in a further rise in illegal border crossings, as migrants who want to seek asylum will no longer be blocked from doing so.

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