CBP says more than 178,000 apprehensions occurred along the border in December

Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - 6:01pm
Updated: Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - 8:21am

Agents with Customs and Border Protection encountered more than 178,000 people along the southwest border in December, according to agency data released this week. Of those encounters, the some 40,000 were people who were on at least their second crossing in a year. 

The number of people trying to cross multiple times has been on the rise since the pandemic-era protocol Title 42 took hold in 2020. The policy allows Border Patrol agents to quickly turn away migrants back to Mexico on public health grounds. Borderwide, the agency says more than 78,000 people apprehended in December were sent back under Title 42. 

Chelsea Sachau with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project runs a legal clinic for asylum seekers in Nogales. She estimates her team sees new people sent back there everyday. She says others try to claim asylum at the port of entry and are simply turned away.

"Maybe they weren’t physically expelled under Title 42, but they are still displaced by understanding that they cannot access the asylum process through a U.S. port of entry," she said. 

Sachau says without that pathway to asylum ports of entry, more migrants are driven to make dangerous journeys through Arizona’s desert borderland.