A staggering surge in migrant families crossing the US-Mexico border was reported in August, surpassing the previous record of 84,486 set in May 2019 during the Trump era. According to preliminary data from the Washington Post, US Border Patrol apprehended at least 91,000 migrants from family units, making it the highest demographic group to cross the border since President Biden’s inauguration in 2020. This surge contributed to over half a million “family member units” surrendering at the border throughout the fiscal year, setting yet another record. Additionally, there was a significant rise in unaccompanied minors entering the US.

This escalation coincides with the revelation that 114 massive gates along the Arizona border were welded open by US officials to facilitate water flow during the monsoon season. Erin Heeter, spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, attributed the continuous stream of crossings to seasonal trends and the exploitation of vulnerable migrants by smugglers.

Despite the increase in illegal crossings, the Biden administration permitted up to 1,450 migrants daily to schedule legal entry via a mobile app, resulting in the processing of over 54,000 migrants in August. This elevated the total migrant encounters by CBP agents at the southern border to approximately 230,000, the highest in 2023. Border arrests overall increased by over 30% from July to August, following a sharp decline in May and June due to new migration restrictions implemented by the Biden administration.

Heeter noted that the government also intensified deportation flights for families in August, resulting in the repatriation of over 17,000 parents and children since May.

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