McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Since Title 42 was lifted last month, the number of migrant encounters on the Southwest border is down by more than 70 percent and nearly 40,000 asylum-seekers who were deemed ineligible have been removed from the country, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.
From May 12 to June 2, over 38,400 migrants from more than 80 countries were repatriated under Title 8, including 1,400 asylum-seekers from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela who were sent to Mexico, the agency said.
This is the first time Mexico has allowed the U.S. to return migrants from other countries to its country, U.S. officials said.
Daily, U.S. Border Patrol agents are encountering about 3,400 migrants between U.S. ports of entry. That’s down from over 10,000 in the days leading up to the end of Title 42 on May 11, DHS said.
DHS attributes the steep drop in migrants at the border to “stiffer consequences for unlawful entry with a historic expansion of lawful pathways and processes,” the agency said.
Under the decades-old Title 8 rule, migrants must apply for asylum interviews at U.S. ports of entry via the CBP One app. If they cross illegally into the United States they face a five-year ban from re-entry and possible criminal prosecution if they try to return before then.
Those who are detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement are being processed and screened by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to assess their asylum claims under the new Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rules. Those found not to have a legitimate credible fear of returning to their home countries are being sent back or to Mexico, DHS says.
Since May 12, USCIS has received nearly 14,000 credible fear referrals and completed a “record” 11,500, DHS agency says.
Over 1,000 CBP appointments are being scheduled every day via the CBP One app, most of which are from Haiti, Mexico and Venezuela. The app last week was expanded to accommodate 1,250 appointments daily.
“The administration’s plan is working as intended. We are cognizant, however, that the conditions in the hemisphere that are driving unprecedented movements of people are still present and that the cartels and coyotes will continue to spread disinformation about any potential changes to policies at the border in order to put migrants’ lives at risk for profit. We will remain vigilant and continue to execute our plan, making adjustments where needed,” DHS said in a statement.
The agency said Congress must act, and “until and unless Congress comes together in a bipartisan way to address our broken immigration and asylum system, we will continue to see surges in migration at our border.”