Migrant Crossings Hit All-Time High in December

US border officials were on track to process more than 300K people
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2024 5:00 AM CST
Migrant Crossings Hit All-Time High in December
Migrants wait to be processed by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol after they crossed the Rio Grande and entered the U.S. from Mexico, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

US immigration officials were, as of New Year's Eve, on pace to process more than 300,000 migrants at the country's southern border—the highest count ever recorded since monthly tallies started being kept in fiscal year 2000. CBS News, citing internal Department of Homeland Security figures it obtained, reports that as of Thursday, almost 235,000 migrants had been processed after crossing the border illegally; at that pace, by the end of the month the number would be around 260,000. In addition, officials at formal ports of entry were on pace to process about 50,000 migrants.

Illegal border crossings had already reached a monthly record by Thursday, per CBS; the previous high of 224,000 was recorded in May 2022. The previous monthly record for overall processings, both at formal ports of entry and in between, was September of this year at almost 270,000. "It's an unsustainable number of arrivals," says a former immigration official under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. "We can't keep funding the system for more and more people. It's challenging at every level." (More border crossing stories.)

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