According to a Department of Homeland Security court document filing, US border officials encountered 234,088 illegal migrants at the US-Mexico border in April.
The new number surpassed March’s 22-year high of over 221,000, is the highest monthly total in DHS history and a 30 percent increase over April 2021.
April’s total represents the fourth time during the Biden administration that monthly border encounters have exceeded 200,000.
So far, May’s numbers are on par with April’s totals. Last week, border officials encountered an average of over 7,400 migrants a day, according to internal Customs and Border Protection data obtained by NBC News. An “encounter” is every illegal migrant who tries to cross illegally and is caught or reports to the authorities at legal ports of entry.
The new numbers will bring increased pressure for the Biden administration to keep in place an anti-Covid public health measure known as Title 42. The measure has blocked over 1.7 million illegal migrants from remaining in the US.
Opponents of lifting the order claim that doing so would overwhelm an already stressed system and remove a tool for deporting illegal migrants back to their home countries.
DHS officials have estimated that over 170,000 migrants who have been deported due to Title 42 are waiting in camps in northern Mexico, hoping to enter the US when the order lifts on May 23.
There is also concern that if the order is lifted, more will leave their home countries and attempt to come to the US.
Last month, members of the Texas National Guard were seen running training exercises involving riot gear in preparation for an anticipated significant jump in illegal border crossings if Title 42 is repealed.
Judges in Louisiana and Texas may issue orders this month that would temporarily keep Title 42 in place.
In April, 117,989 migrants were released into the United States and 113,248 were removed. 96,908 migrants were deported under Title 42.
Last week, a massive amount of illegal migrants were reportedly gathering at the port of entrey in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. As of Monday, it is estimated that there are at least 5,000 people gathered there. They are expecting a greater chance of being able to get legal permission to stay and work in US territory due to the Biden administration’s policy changes if Title 42 is repealed.
Last month, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) released a report illustrating that roughly 1.9 million illegal immigrants who entered the United States throughout the first year of the Biden presidency were apprehended.