June 23, 2024

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The daily illegal border crossings launched Biden’s new policy years ago

The daily illegal border crossings launched Biden’s new policy years ago

(CNN) — Analysis from CNN data shows that a new Biden administration policy aimed at tackling illegal crossings of the US southern border has been in place for at least the past three years due to increased encounters with migrants.

The executive action, announced Tuesday, prohibits migrants who cross the border illegally from seeking asylum — with some limited exceptions — if the number of people encountered by border agents exceeds a daily average of 2,500. Instead, they will be rejected immediately.

The daily average of illegal crossings has exceeded that limit for years, peaking at more than 8,000 migrants in December, according to Department of Homeland Security data analyzed by CNN.

According to Colin Butzel Cavanaugh, an associate policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, the record wave of crossings reflects increased migration around the world over the past five years, driven by factors such as the uneven economic recovery from the pandemic. And climate change.

Under pandemic-era restrictions that were lifted last year, federal authorities quickly expelled hundreds of thousands of migrants at the southern US border.

The last time the average daily encounters between migrants and US Border Patrol on the southwest land border was less than 2,500 was in January 2021, a CNN analysis revealed. Analyze publicly available records on a federal website It did not include confrontations in southern coastal ports, which are also covered by the policy.

For the new policy to be lifted, the daily average must fall below 1,500 daily encounters on average for seven consecutive days between ports of entry. The last time illegal crossings at the Southwest land border were this low was in July 2020, records show.

Migrants walk along the US side of the border wall in Jacumba Hot Springs, California, on June 5, after crossing from Mexico. (Photo: Frederick J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Before 2019, daily averages near or below 1,500 at the southern border were common. From 2014 to 2018, just nine months saw more than 45,000 encounters between US Border Patrol and migrants at the southwest land border. However, since 2019, only 11 months – mostly during the peak of the pandemic from September 2019 to July 2020 – saw fewer than 45,000 encounters. Border restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus in 2020 may have affected the number of crossings.

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Putzel Kavanaugh said the main reason for the increase in the past half-decade is the increase in migration around the world. After easing travel restrictions due to the Corona virus, the recovery was uneven between countries. In some places, public resources, goods and employment opportunities remained unavailable for longer after the worst of the pandemic. Elsewhere, crises caused by climate change or war have caused more people to migrate. The result was an increase in immigration from more countries.

“The goal of this rule appears to be to carry out more deportations more quickly,” Kavanaugh-Putzel said.

Under the new executive measure, if migrants declare they are afraid after crossing illegally, they can interview with an asylum official, but the threshold they must meet is much higher. Border agents no longer have to ask migrants if they are afraid under the new guidelines, leaving it up to migrants to express their fear of returning to their country of origin, which lawyers and advocates say they are not always aware of.

It is too early to know the impact of this policy. The number of encounters between ports of entry has been decreasing each month since January, but remains high, Butzel Kavanaugh said.

He added, “It is likely that now that this rule has come into effect, we will see a decrease in the number of arrivals at the border.” However, these policies often create a “wait and see” effect, where crossovers increase again once the true impact of the policy is more widely understood.

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CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez contributed to this report.