Migrants near the US southern border
Migration to the US keeps breaking records AFP

Migrant encounters at the U.S. southern border hit a daily record on Tuesday, as the amount of people making their way to the country continues to increase at a sustained pace.

Concretely, there were over 12,000 encounters, according to a report by Fox News, which cited multiple Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources.

The outlet specified that over 10,200 of them were encounters of illegal immigrants coming between ports of entry, and that the record number is reached when combining it with encounters at CBP's Office of Field Operations at ports of entry.

Tucson, in Arizona, and Del Rio, in Texas, were among the areas with the largest amounts of encounters. The record adds to others broken during the past months, the latest being that of fiscal year 2023, when over 3.2 million migrants were encountered at the southern border, breaking the record set in 2022. The figure includes people with a legal status and those apprehended for illegally crossing the border.

The surge in migrants increased after the Biden administration's move earlier this year to launch an online appointment system that would allow migrants to claim asylum. More than 44,000 people have reached Mexico with the appointment since January.

Meanwhile, around 270,000 migrants from various Latin American countries including Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela have entered the United States by applying online with the help of a financial sponsor.

Moreover, a recent NBC News national poll showed that 74 percent of all people surveyed agreed with the need to bolster funding for this purpose. The figures, however, varied depending on the voters' political affiliation. 93 percent of Republicans were in favor, contrasting with 58 percent of Democrats. Independents, meanwhile, clocked in at 74 percent.

At the US-Mexico Border
Members of the Texas Army National Guard extend razor wire to inhibit migrants from crossing, as seen from Ciudad Juárez. Reuters

The survey was released as Congress continues to debate whether to pass a broad bill which would include funding for most of these issues. Concretely, President Joe Biden's $106 package contemplated $13.6 billions for border security.

Senate Republicans are pushing for a stringent overhaul of the initial standards immigrants must meet when applying for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border in exchange for supporting the bill.

There is urgency to reach a deal before year-end, but Republicans claim that the proposed aid package to address border issues aims to accelerate the processing of migrants but lacks policy changes.

The ongoing negotiations center around modifying the asylum system, a historically contentious issue in Congress. The influx of asylum seekers at the southern border, coupled with bipartisan support for Ukraine, has brought moderate Democrats to the table. Unlike previous compromises, Democrats in the bipartisan group haven't linked their support to legalization for undocumented immigrants, such as Dreamers.

Central to discussions is a proposed change to the initial asylum screening standard, aimed at streamlining the process by raising the bar for credible fear and requiring more evidence from migrants. The idea aligns with a broader Republican border proposal, which includes measures like continuing the construction of Trump's border wall and safe-third-country agreements, which would require asylum seekers to stay in Mexico for the duration of their immigration cases.

However, the viability of changing the asylum screening standard as a sufficient compromise remains uncertain. Liberal Democrats, opposed to alterations in existing asylum rules, could oppose the measure. Other considerations on the table include expanding mandatory detention and reintroducing a form of the "Remain in Mexico" policy.

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