U.S. Border Patrol arrests reached the highest levels ever recorded during the 2021 fiscal year in which over 1.7 million migrants were detained along the border with Mexico, according to unreleased data from Customs and Border Protection obtained by The Washington Post.
Illegal border crossings rose after President Joe Biden entered office, though he has characterized this spike as falling within seasonal trends. His enforcement of the border has been a sticking point for Republicans, who have criticized his decision to halt construction on the border wall and end the "Remain in Mexico" policy started by former President Donald Trump.
According to the CBP data, which the agency is expected to release later this week, most of the migrants arrested were from Central America. Mexican nationals made up the largest portion with 608,000 arrested in fiscal year 2021, followed by 309,000 from Honduras, 279,000 from Guatemala, and 96,000 from El Salvador. CBP also arrested 367,000 migrants from outside Central America.
In the nine months since Biden entered the White House, the U.S. has arrested more than 1.3 million migrants along the southern border. Border arrests averaged around 540,000 in the fiscal years between 2012 and 2020. The Post notes that the 2021 total was three-times that amount and was the second-highest annual total that has ever been recorded. The data also shows that of the 1.7 million people in total detained during fiscal year 2021, over 60% were expelled from the U.S. under Title 42.
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