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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

December sees a spike in encounters at the US-Mexico border, highlighting immigration controversy


WASHINGTON — The⁣ ongoing debate about ⁣border security has​ been fueled ⁤by the ⁣latest data from U.S. Customs ⁢and Border ⁢Protection, which reveals a⁤ significant increase in apprehensions and other activities at the U.S.-Mexico⁤ border.

Recent ​figures, released‍ at the end of January, show that U.S. border officials recorded 302,034 encounters along the Southwest border in December. This number, which includes undocumented immigrants apprehended, those deemed inadmissible, and those processed for expulsion, ‍is the highest monthly total since the current tracking system was introduced in March 2020. Back then, the total number ⁤of encounters was 34,460.

These figures, indicative ‌of​ the⁢ volume of immigrants attempting to cross illegally into the United States, have drawn intense scrutiny ⁤from lawmakers in Utah‍ and Washington, D.C., who are focused ​on strengthening border security.

Despite efforts by U.S. Senate ​Republicans to introduce a bill to ⁢enhance border security,‌ it was defeated on ‍Wednesday with 50 ​votes against ‍and 49 in favor. ​In addition to this, U.S. ​Rep. John Curtis is scheduled to visit the border‌ on Thursday, while Gov. Spencer Cox ⁣visited ⁢the⁣ border last Sunday.⁤ U.S. Reps. Celeste Maloy and Burgess Owens also visited the area in early January, all ​in an effort​ to‌ draw attention⁢ to the issue.

Increasing Encounters from ‘Other’ ⁣Countries

Comparatively, the 302,034 encounters along the Southwest border in December is a significant increase from the 269,735 encounters recorded in September, which was the next highest figure since March 2020. The lowest monthly figure since the implementation of the new‍ tracking system was in April 2020, with 17,106 ‍encounters.

Moreover, the total encounters for October, November, and ⁢December last year amounted ⁢to​ 785,422, surpassing the 719,017 encounters for the same three-month period in 2022; 518,935 in 2021; and 218,036 in 2020.

Interestingly, the most recent data shows a rise in encounters involving individuals from countries outside of ‍Mexico and Central America, which are traditionally‌ the main⁤ sources of undocumented immigrants to the United ​States.

In December, Mexicans accounted for the highest number of encounters from a single country, with 69,042. This⁣ was followed​ by Guatemalans with 35,366; Hondurans with 20,947; and Salvadorans with 6,396. However, ‍encounters ⁤involving‌ individuals ⁣from other countries totaled 170,283, representing 56.4% of all encounters for the month​ and exceeding⁣ the combined total ⁢from Mexico and the three Central American countries.

By contrast, in December 2020, Mexicans accounted for 39,370 of the 73,994 encounters that month,‍ followed by Guatemalans with 12,454; Hondurans ​with 10,358; and Salvadorans with 3,921. Encounters involving individuals from ⁢other countries totaled⁣ just 7,891, ​making ⁤up only 10.7% of the⁣ total.

According‌ to a U.S.⁣ Customs and Border Protection press release issued on Jan. 26, preliminary figures for ⁣the first half of January indicate a reversal in this trend. ⁣The statement read, “Consistent with historical trends and enhanced enforcement, the first two weeks of⁤ January saw an ⁢over 50% decrease ‌in Southwest border encounters​ between ports of entry ​according to preliminary figures.”

‘Biden’s Border Crisis’

Despite ‍the sharp increase in encounters, federal‍ lawmakers​ have struggled to find common ground on ⁣the​ issue, as evidenced by the defeat of the‌ border security bill in ‍Wednesday’s vote.

Utah’s two senators, both Republicans, were divided on the bill. ⁤Sen. Mike Lee voted against the measure, while Sen. Mitt Romney voted in favor, according to​ the Washington Post.

Lee celebrated the defeat‌ of the bill on X,⁣ stating, “We just ​stopped the fake border deal in the Senate — for now. Amazing victory for ⁤the American⁢ people.” This reflects the strong criticism the bill received from⁤ some Republicans, despite being crafted by them.

Romney, on the other hand, did not immediately respond ‍to a request for⁢ comment from KSL.com after the vote.⁤ However, ⁤in earlier ‌comments to the HuffPost,‌ he expressed disappointment at the decision of Republicans to‌ reject the bill, which the Associated​ Press reported had allocated ‍$20 billion for immigration enforcement.

Regarding ​the border visits, Curtis, who​ represents Utah’s⁤ 3rd District,‌ will be the latest ‍to visit the area when he ‌travels to Sierra Vista, Arizona,⁢ on Thursday. He will ‌be accompanied by 12 other Republican House members for a field hearing on⁢ what they are calling “Biden’s‍ border crisis.”

Gov. Spencer Cox visited the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas ‍last Sunday with 13 other ⁤Republican governors, expressing concern⁤ about the state of border security. U.S. Reps. Celeste Maloy and Burgess Owens, who represent Utah’s⁤ 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts, respectively, visited the border at Eagle Pass, Texas, on⁤ Jan. 3.

Truth Media Network
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  1. Disagree. Immigration controversy is complex and requires a multi-faceted approach. A single month’s data cannot capture the full picture or justify a spike in encounters at the US-Mexico border.


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