Migrant apprehensions are down at southern border, Texas congressman says

National News

Fewer than half the migrants "encountered" by border agents last month were returned to Mexico under Title 42

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on April 8, 2021, processes information on migrants in La Joya, Texas, who just crossed the Rio Grande. A bicameral act introduced Thursday in Congress would free up Border Patrol agents so they could be on the frontlines, and not processing paperwork, lawmakers said. (Border Report Photo/Sandra Sanchez)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A South Texas congressman says migrant apprehensions are finally coming down along the Mexican border.

In a tweet on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, said border agents in August encountered 195,000 unauthorized migrants, which is down from July’s 212,272.

A majority of the migrants (103,000) were designated as Title 8, which means they are to remain in the United States pending immigration procedures. According to Cuellar, only 92,000 were expelled to Mexico under the Title 42 public health order allowing the swift removal of newly arrived migrants to prevent cross-border spread of COVID-19.

A member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Cuellar says 1.47 million unauthorized migrants have come across the border since Oct. 1, 2020.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection could not immediately verify the information in Cuellar’s tweet.

“As is our regular process, CBP will be posting our official monthly data in the coming days. At this point, we have not posted August data,” CBP said in an email to Border Report.

Historically, migrant apprehensions drop off during the hot summer months, as people from southern Mexico or Central America try to avoid traveling in extreme heat that can kill them.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas

The numbers released by Cuellar would mark the reversal or a slowdown of a trend of illegal immigration not seen in the United States in more than 20 years.

Cuellar said the Rio Grande Valley sector of Texas has seen more than half a million migrants come across the border since Oct. 1.

He attributed the August decline to “a combination of things out there.” Among them, Mexico’s often violent crackdown on migrant caravans crossing the border from Guatemala and perhaps the perception that it’s getting harder to make it into the United States.

“A Border Patrol person told me yesterday, ‘I think I’ve seen a light at the end of the tunnel.’ He’s talking about the numbers going down. ‘I just hope it’s not a train coming at me,’” Cuellar told Border Report on Thursday.

He said the 505,000 migrant encounters in the Rio Grande Valley are unprecedented. “It’s just an incredible amount of people. We’ve never seen anything like that,” he said.

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