U.S. immigration authorities detained 302,034 migrants and asylum seekers at the southwest border in December, a record number over the past three years, according to figures published Friday by the Office of Customs and Excise. Border Control (CBP).
The data for the month of December represents an increase of more than 20% compared to November, when the figure stood at nearly 242,500 migrants placed in CBP custody.
In fact, the arrests in December represented the highest monthly number since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.
The vast majority of detainees, more than 249,785, crossed into US territory irregularly, according to CBP. The rest are handed over to immigration authorities at a port of entry.
CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miler said in a statement that his agency continues to use all available resources to ensure border security. But he said they need support from the US Congress to approve more resources.
Due to the high flow of migrants arriving at the country’s southwest border in the last months of 2023, CBP was forced to reassign agents and suspend the processing of several border crossings in Texas, Arizona and California.
This Friday, President Biden forced Congress to advance a legislative agreement that imposes more immigration restrictions on the country’s southern border in exchange for a new economic aid package for Ukraine.
In a statement, the president asked lawmakers to give the green light to this legal text, which was negotiated by senators from the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, to “address the border situation.”
“If you’re serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill and I’ll sign it,” the president argued.
However, the project still does not have enough support in the House of Representatives, which is controlled by Republicans, to be approved.