Asylum Seekers in the US-Mexico Border
Migrants expecting to cross the U.S. southern border AFP

Unlawful border crossings have continued to drop in June in West Texas and Southern New Mexico so far in June, with authorities reporting a 24% decrease compared to the previous month, according to Border Report.

Concretely, Customs and Border Protection data shows an average of 560 daily encounters this month, compared to 750 in May. The outlet cited other sources saying that there were a little over 2,000 encounters along the Southwestern border on Monday, down from 2,460 on Sunday and 2,840 on Saturday.

The latest figure is 75% lower than the 8,057 encounters recorded in December, among all-time highs, and coincides with the threshold established by the Biden administration in its recent executive order cracking down on asylum-seeking once the daily average over a week surpasses 2,500 apprehensions.

In the first three weeks of May, authorities were still encountering an average of 3,700 people a day between ports of entry.

The drop can be explained by a combination of factors: one is enforcement from Mexico, whose authorities have been increasingly preventing migrants from reaching the border over the past months.

Recent reports have shown that, lacking the funds to deport migrants, authorities are wearing them out until they give up. Checkpoints are located all over Mexican highways, with armed soldiers pulling migrants off buses and round up those walking along roads and in surrounding mountains.

Moreover, Mexican soldiers and police officers are patrolling the banks of the Rio Grande and telling potential asylum-seekers to go to a shelter or anywhere else but across the river.

An increase in repatriation flights from the U.S. is another factor, as many migrants are reluctant to go back to their home countries, be it because of not wanting to make the journey again or because they face larger levels of uncertainty once they get back.

Expedited removals are a third factor, as officers are largely enforcing a 1996 federal law allowing them to send back people without a valid asylum claim rather than have them face an immigration judge.

Heat is also playing a role, as recent temperatures have been way above the average for this part of the year, with triple or near-triple digit figures for weeks in a row. Overall, 82 people have died so far in the El Paso sector, many of them due to the heat.

At least six migrants died ten days ago while attempting to enter the U.S. through El Paso. Local Border Patrol said four people who were found in the past days died as a result of "heatstroke and dehydration." At least two others were also found dead in the area days before.

"As temperatures soar and summer approaches, the treacherous conditions of the desert are proving increasingly dangerous," said Texas' Border Patrol in a recent statement. The El Paso sector saw 686 deaths and disappearances last year, the highest toll ever recorded.

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