U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) intercepted a total of 834 unaccompanied minors at the US-Mexico border on Wednesday, Aug. 4, the highest number since the Biden administration began publishing a daily tally of child apprehensions earlier this year.
The 834 children crossed the border on a single day during the height of summer when traveling outside in triple-digit temperatures in southern border states is most risky. Moreover, the phenomenon suggests that the recent spike in immigrants to the United States is not a seasonal influx, as President Joe Biden said earlier this year, Washington Examiner reported.
People usually attempt to enter the country during the spring, when temperatures are at their mildest. However, the fact that the number of migrants encountered along the border has increased this summer suggests that other factors are driving them to cross, such as dire conditions in their home countries amid the pandemic and changes to U.S. border policy that reverse hardened measures imposed by former President Donald Trump.
According to Customs and Border Protection data, the number of children taken into custody by U.S. border officers has increased dramatically since the beginning of the year, from 5,851 in January (equal to 189 per day) to more than 9,405 in February. In March, 18,877 minors crossed the border, breaking the previous high of 11,861 set in May of this year. In April, May, and June, the number of apprehensions each day fell slightly to between 300 and 500, although they remained near all-time highs.
The preliminary official figures show that the United States will reach the 19,000 mark for lone children taken into custody in July, breaking the previous high set in March.
If the 834 contacts on Wednesday are repeated throughout August, the United States will have taken 25,020 children into custody this month alone.
Meanwhile, under Biden, the total number of migrants arriving at the border is thought to have reached a new high. More than 210,000 people were detained at the border in July, the largest number in 21 years. Before the year 2000, federal border statistics for monthly interactions were not publicly available.
Of the 210,000 total encounters, approximately 80,000 migrants arrived with a family member, bringing the total close to the 88,857 mark achieved in May 2019.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra informed Congress last month that the administration was reallocating $860 million in COVID relief funding to assist in covering the costs of detaining unaccompanied minors at the southern border, New York Post reported.
Lawmakers from both parties have accused the Biden administration of enacting policies that encourage illegal immigrants from Central America and elsewhere to make the perilous journey to the border.