Federal authorities recorded 240,988 migrant encounters at the southern border in October, sustaining record highs seen under the Biden administration, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data released Tuesday.

The number of encounters along the southern border in September totaled 269,735, marking the highest month on record. CBP recorded 232,963 and 183,479 encounters in August and July, respectively, according to agency data.

“In conjunction with our resumption of removal flights to Venezuela consistent with delivering consequences for those who cross the border unlawfully, CBP saw a 65 percent decrease in southwest border encounters of Venezuelans in the second half of October, compared to the second half of September,” Troy A. Miller, senior official performing the duties of the commissioner, said in a statement regarding the new data. “In October, CBP also saw an overall decrease of 14 percent between ports of entry, as well as an overall decrease of family units. We continue to enhance our border security posture and remain vigilant,” Miller added.

The number of encounters of illegal migrants exceeded 188,000 at the southern border in October, while the number of migrants encountered at ports of entry surpassed 52,000, according to CBP data. Of those processed at ports of entry, 44,000 used CBP One, a phone application the Biden administration allows migrants to use to book appointments to enter the U.S.

“CBP’s narcotics seizures in October highlight our work on the frontline in the fight against fentanyl and other dangerous substances entering the United States – but we need more resources to sustain and increase these efforts. The President’s supplemental budget request is critical to funding the frontline, and would provide much-needed personnel, resources, and technology to go after transnational criminal organizations, enhance border security – including the enforcement of consequences for those who break the law – and support state and local partners, all to keep Americans safe,” Miller added.

Jennie Taer on November 14, 2023

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