Attempts to cross the U.S.-Mexico border drop to lowest level in 2 years

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, February 9, 2023 - 11:23am

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U.S. Border Patrol agents with migrants
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended migrants inside a tractor-trailer during a failed human smuggling attempt in north Laredo, Texas, in 2020.

The number of undocumented migrants attempting to cross the border fell to its lowest level in two years in January — to 156,000 — according to the Department of Homeland Security. And the number of encounters Border Patrol agents had with migrants was below 130,000. 

The Biden administration has credited the drop to new policies that have opened legal ways for many migrants to come to America — but not all of them. 

Early this year, President Joe Biden announced an expansion of the controversial pandemic-era policy known as Title 42, which denies migrants who come to the U.S. the right to seek asylum in the United States.

Now, the government has set up a parole program to accept up to 30,000 people a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela if they apply from their home countries, fly to the U.S. and have a financial sponsor. 

Now, the administration is also touting a 97% drop in illegal border crossing by migrants from those countries. 

But Chelsea Sachau says it’s good that some people are benefiting from these new parole programs, it leaves out those who need it the most. 

Sachau is with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, a nonprofit legal services organization that works with migrants. She told The Show the number of apprehensions only means so much at this point.

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