Daily border encounters have dropped by more than half in January, DHS official says

Washington
CNN
 — 

Every day migrant encounters alongside the US-Mexico border have dropped by greater than half in January in comparison with final month, a Homeland Safety official tells CNN, citing the enlargement of a Trump-era Covid restriction and just lately launched applications to legally migrate to the US.

Final month, border authorities wrestled with a spike in border encounters, averaging round 7,000 every day, forward of the anticipated finish of Title 42, a public well being authority that’s been in place for the reason that onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Supreme Courtroom put a short lived maintain on the termination of Title 42, leaving it in place for now. However the migrant inflow underscored the challenges dealing with the Biden administration amid mass migration within the Western Hemisphere. Whereas every day arrests have dropped, it’s unclear how lengthy the pattern will maintain as individuals proceed to face poor situations of their dwelling international locations.

Over the course of his presidency, Joe Biden has confronted altering migration patterns which have stretched federal and native sources. The difficulty in flip has more and more develop into a political vulnerability for the administration – drawing fierce criticism from Republicans and Democrats – and been a key level of debate with nations to the south, primarily Mexico.

Biden met with Mexican President Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the North American Leaders’ Summit earlier this month, the place migration was a key matter of debate.

Simply days earlier than the go to to Mexico, the Biden administration expanded a humanitarian parole program to simply accept as much as 30,000 migrants per 30 days from Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba. This system offers a authorized pathway for these nationalities to enter the US as an alternative of crossing the border. The administration additionally made these nationalities eligible for Title 42, which means they will now be turned away by authorities in the event that they don’t apply for this system.

Officers have cited the parole program and enlargement of Title 42 as among the many causes for the drop in every day encounters this month.

Biden alluded to a possible drop in crossings whereas in Mexico, saying: “That is going to scale back the variety of individuals legally attempting to cross — illegally attempting to cross the border.”

“We’re attempting to make it simpler for individuals to get right here, opening up the capability to get right here, however not have them undergo that godawful course of,” he added, referring to the treacherous journey north migrants typically take.

Immigrant advocates, although, have shared considerations about this system, arguing that it might solely serve these with connections to the US since a sponsor is required and since it means extra individuals could be turned away beneath Title 42.