The federal government counted almost 190,000 people trying to illegally cross the southwest border into the United States in June, as border patrol agency figures project one million unauthorized crossings in 2021, newly released figures show.
That represents a five percent increase from May, according to federal figures.
The Customs and Border Protection said it is receiving an increase in “distress calls” from migrants, who battle tough conditions to make their journey.
“We are in the hottest part of the summer, and we are seeing a high number of distress calls to CBP from migrants abandoned in treacherous terrain by smugglers with no regard for human life,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller in a statement Friday.
“Although CBP does everything it can to locate and rescue individuals who are lost or distressed, the bottom line is this: the terrain along the border is extreme, the summer heat is severe, and the miles of desert migrants must hike after crossing the border in many areas are unforgiving.”
In June, CBP counted 188,829 people attempting to cross the southwestern border, figures released Friday show.
Additionally, the number of unaccompanied minors counted by CBP increased by 8 percent compared to May; there were 15,253 CBP encounters in June, compared to 14,137 in May, according to CBP’s data.
More than 1 million illegal crossings of the US-Mexico border will have been attempted over the first seven months of 2021, preliminary data indicates — defying expectations that the illegal immigration crisis would ease as temperatures climbed.
The Biden administration’s undoing of former President Donald Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal immigrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that judges can delay deportation hearings if they’re a low priority, marking the latest move to roll back Trump-era immigration policy.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that President Biden is inviting them to cross the border.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador blamed Biden for the crisis in March, arguing that the “expectations” he set left migrants with the perception that they would be let into the US.