The number of migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has surged to its highest level since President Joe Biden took office, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
In May 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended more than 178,000 migrants, a 71 percent increase from April. It is the highest monthly total since Biden became president in January 2021.
The majority of those apprehended are single adults, unaccompanied children, and families from Central America. CBP also reported that the number of unaccompanied minors in CBP custody has nearly tripled since February 2021.
The Biden Administration has faced criticism for its handling of the border situation, with some arguing that its decision to roll back many of the Trump Administration’s hardline immigration policies has led to an influx of migrants. The administration, however, has insisted that the increase in illegal crossings is primarily due to a number of external factors, such as poverty and violence in Central America, as well as the weather.
The Biden Administration has sought to address the surge in illegal crossings with a number of measures, including deploying the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide additional resources and assistance to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The administration has also sought to partner with Mexico and other countries in the region to help address the root causes of illegal migration.