A migrants cries next to her tent at a shelter in Tijuana as she talks about her ordeal AFP

SEATTLE - The month of June had the lowest amount of illegal crossings along the U.S. southern border in more than three years as a result of Joe Biden's executive action authorizing U.S. immigration officials to deport large numbers of migrants without processing their asylum claims.

Encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border fell to a three-year low in June, with U.S. Border Patrol reporting that approximately 84,000 migrants crossed the border, the lowest monthly level since Biden took office in January 2021, when the agencies reported just over 75,000 migrant encounters.

But what we saw during June is something that has turned into a trend since migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border reached an all-time high of a quarter of a million in December of 2023. June was the fourth consecutive monthly drop in illegal crossings and saw 34,000 less encounters compared to the month of May.

The highest amount this year, according to public government figures, was in February, when 141,000 crossings were recorded by the agencies.

U.S.-Mexico border crossings
U.S.-Mexico border encounters by month; the U.S. saw more than two million cases each of the last two years Via cbp.gov/

Biden's executive action that went into effect a few weeks ago has helped with the decrease in apprehensions. The action bans most migrants from seeking asylum, but it includes exemptions for unaccompanied children and those who wait in Mexico for a chance to be processed at a port of entry. This has allowed U.S. immigration officials to be more efficient when it comes to deporting larger number of migrants.

Senior U.S. officials told CBS News that the partial asylum ban has been a huge factor in reducing the number of crossings. One official said that the drop has been more acute since the ban was announced on June 4. As of last week, the average of daily migrant apprehensions fell below 2,000, very close to the 1,500 threshold that the Biden administration set to suspend the asylum restrictions.

But despite Biden's more rigid measures to control the southern border, he is still facing all sorts of backlash. The executive order was not very well received by some sectors of the Democratic party and, according to a recent poll from Monmouth University, the majority of voters still don't approve Biden's handling of immigration despite the decreasing numbers. According to the poll, four in every 10 Americans (40%) are in favor of Biden's executive order while 27% are opposed.

The American Civil Liberties Union also filed a lawsuit against the policy in federal court, arguing that Biden's executive order violates the country's asylum laws and increases the chances of American officials sending migrants back to places where they can be in danger.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.