WASHINGTON (AP) — Migrants were stopped fewer times at the U.S. border with Mexico in July than in June, authorities said Monday, a second straight monthly decline.
Flows were still unusually high, particularly among nationalities less affected by Title 42, a pandemic-era rule that denies migrants legal rights to seek asylum on grounds of preventing spread of COVID-19. In theory, Title 42 applies to all nationalities but costs, diplomatic relations and others considerations usually dictate who is expelled under the public health authority.
U.S. authorities stopped migrants 199,976 times in July, down 3.8% from 207,933 in June and down 6.8% from 213,593% in July 2021, Customs and Border Protection said.
"While the encounter numbers remain high, this is a positive trend and the first two-month drop since October 2021,” said Commissioner Chris Magnus.
Authorities stopped Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and El Salvadorans less in July than in June. Mexico has agreed to take people from all those countries who are expelled under Title 42, a relatively easy task for Border Patrol agents due to Mexico's proximity.
People from countries more likely to be released in the U.S. on humanitarian parole or with notices to appear in immigration court were stopped more often. Border Patrol agents stopped Venezuelans 17,603 times in July, up 34% from June and nearly triple from July 2021.
Cubans were stopped 20,080 times by Border Patrol agents, up 25% from June and nearly six times from June 2021. Colombians were also stopped more often.
Del Rio, Texas, was again the busiest corridor for illegal crossings among the Border Patrol's nine sectors on the Mexico border, with agents stopping migrants 49,563 times in July. Texas' Rio Grande Valley, which had long been the busiest, was a distant second with 35,180 stops.