Migrant apprehensions along the southwest border with Mexico in February remained at about the same level as January. The Biden Administration touts the reduction in apprehensions in January and February, but the numbers are still 32 percent higher than in February 2021 — President Joe Biden’s first full month in office.
Border Patrol agents in the nine southwest border sectors apprehended 128,877 migrants who crossed in February from Mexico into the U.S. between ports of entry. This is only 36 migrants less than the 128,913 apprehended in January. The Biden Administration credited the reduction from the nearly 222,000 December migrant apprehensions to the new CBP One mobile application.
“The new border enforcement measures kept February’s overall encounter numbers nearly even with January,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller in a written statement. “We are also encouraged by the new functionality in the CBP One mobile application, which has provided migrants the ability to safely and easily schedule an appointment at a Port of Entry to request a humanitarian exception to the Title 42 public health order. The app cuts out the smugglers and decreases migrant exploitation. CBP continues to make improvements to the app to address feedback we have received from stakeholders.”
What the commissioner did not say is the February report would have been a record-setting February were it not for the record set in 2022 when agents took 159,170 migrants into custody.
He also did not advise that this February’s apprehension report represents a 32 percent increase over February 2021 — Biden’s first full month in office. February 2021 was also the last month where agents apprehended less than 100,000 migrants in a single month.
The administration also reported a significant increase in the apprehension of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border or were sometimes abandoned along the border by human smugglers. This number rose from 9,382 unaccompanied minors in January to 10,870 in February — and increase of 16 percent.
“During February, 22,755 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans (including immediate family members where applicable) were paroled into the country by the CBP Office of Field Operations through the parole processes established for Venezuelans in October and expanded to the additional nationalities in January,” CBP officials reported. “Arrivals of noncitizens via these processes, which include careful vetting and require a supporter present in the United States, are a testament to the benefit of these lawful processes in promoting safe and orderly migration while reducing encounters along the southwest border.”
Members of Congress never voted to approve or implement this new blanket parole program created in January by the Biden Administration.
The numbers reported in the February Southwest Land Border Encounters Report released Wednesday afternoon by CBP officials do not include the record-setting apprehensions of migrants in the Swanton Sector along the Canadian border or the Miami Sectors. These two sectors reported increases of 945 and 507 percent respectively.
The numbers also do not include the estimated nearly 51,000 known got-aways — migrants estimated to have crossed the border but who were not apprehended by Border Patrol agents.