Along the Border, an 'Unexpected Reprieve' for Biden

Illegal migrant crossings have plummeted 54% since December, per government figures
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2024 6:11 AM CDT
Along the Border, an 'Unexpected Reprieve' for Biden
A woman carries her child after she and other migrants crossed the Rio Grande and entered the US from Mexico to be processed by US Customs and Border Protection on Sept. 23 in Eagle Pass, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

News along the southern border is offering the Biden administration "an unexpected reprieve" as the November election looms. Internal government stats show that illegal migration from Mexico into the US has fallen 54% from December to May, with US Border Patrol officials recording a daily average of 3,700 apprehensions of migrants between official ports of entry during the first 21 days of this month, reports CBS News. For context, that daily average was around 8,000 in December.

Illegal entries for December also reached a record high of about 250,000, while in March and April of this year, that number fell to 137,000 and 129,000, respectively. These stats don't figure in migrants being processed at official border crossings, where about 1,500 asylum-seekers come through daily. CBS notes that although these numbers are still higher than they were before the pandemic, migrant crossings typically spike in the spring, making this year's drop notable. Officials say that Gov. Greg Abbott's controversial Operation Lone Star has played a part in tamping down on the illegal crossings, per KCBD.

But perhaps playing an even bigger role is the fact that Mexico has been cracking down on crossings from its side, stopping almost triple the number of migrants crossing into the US than it was a year ago, reports NBC News. That outlet credits the Biden administration for working hand in hand with Mexico to solve the problem, whereas the Trump administration's approach was to issue threats to Mexico on tariffs and trade. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday praised a "number of actions that we have taken, not only strengthening our enforcement, not only attacking the smugglers, but also building lawful pathways that enable people who qualify for relief to reach the United States in a safe, orderly, and legal way," per CBS. (More migrants stories.)

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