The U.S. saw the largest number of migrants arrested or encountered along the southern border since Customs and Border Protection began counting numbers of migrants encountered since the year 2000, statistics released by CBP, on Wednesday show.
CBP encountered 239,416 migrants along the southwest land border in May, a 2% increase compared to April, and 25% of those those encountered were previously arrested and deported by CBP.
The past four months, according to CBP statistics, migrant numbers along the southern border have increased steadily over 200,000 each month.
The amount of unaccompanied minors also saw a 20% increase from this month to last.
Drug seizures along the southern border were down in May in double digits, according to CBP.
“Our message to those who would try and gain illegal entry to the United States remains the same – don’t make the dangerous journey only to be sent back,” said CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus in a statement. “As temperatures start to rise in the summer, human smugglers will continue to exploit vulnerable populations and recklessly endanger the lives of migrants for financial gain.”
The numbers come as Title 42 — the Trump administration policy, continued by the Biden administration that expelled migrants along the southern border under the auspices of the pandemic, was ordered to be kept in place by a federal judge in May.
The Justice Department, which handles litigation for the federal government, has appealed the ruling.
“Current restrictions at the U.S. border have not changed: single adults and families encountered at the Southwest Border will continue to be expelled, where appropriate, under Title 42,” Magnus said.