ARIZONA NEWS

Illegal border crossings surge to highest of President Joe Biden’s term

Jan 21, 2023, 7:00 PM
FILE - President Joe Biden walks along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, Jan. 8...
FILE - President Joe Biden walks along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge in Cuban and Nicaraguan arrivals at the U.S. border with Mexico in December led to the highest number of illegal border crossings recorded during any month of Joe Biden’s presidency, authorities said Friday.

The extraordinary influx came shortly before Biden introduced measures on Jan. 5 to deter Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans.

U.S. authorities stopped migrants 251,487 times along the Mexican border in December, up 7% from 234,896 times in November and up 40% from 179,253 times in December 2021, Customs and Border Protection said.

Cubans were stopped nearly 43,000 times in December, up 23% from November and more than quintuple the same period a year earlier. Nicaraguans were stopped more than 35,000 times, up 3% from November and more than double from December 2021.

More migrants were also stopped from Ecuador and Peru.

The influx from Cuba and Nicaragua made El Paso, Texas, the busiest of the Border Patrol’s nine sectors on the Mexican border for a third month in a row. The city was overwhelmed with migrants who were released to pursue their immigration cases in the U.S. in the weeks leading up to Biden’s visit on Jan. 8, his first to the border as president.

The number of Venezuelan arrivals remained far below September highs, when the South American country was the second-highest nationality at the border after Mexicans. In October, the U.S. agreed to accept up to 24,000 Venezuelans on humanitarian parole, while Mexico agreed to take back the same number who entered the U.S. illegally and could be expelled under a pandemic-era rule to deny rights to seek asylum on grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Biden said this month that the U.S. would admit up to 30,000 people a month under humanitarian parole from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, allowing them to live and work for two years if they apply online, pay airfare and find a financial sponsor. At the same time, Mexico agreed to take back the same number from those four countries who enter the U.S. illegally and can be removed under the pandemic-era rule known as Title 42.

Troy Miller, CBP’s acting commissioner, signaled that the latest measures may be having the desired effect.

“Early data suggests the expanded measures for Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans are having a similar impact, and we look forward to sharing the additional data in the next update,” he said in a news release.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Students and teachers from East High School in Salt Lake City walk out of school to protest the HB1...
Associated Press

Pandemic restrictions, curriculum battles emboldened ‘school choice’ policy push

The debates have inflamed teachers’ unions and resurfaced concerns about efforts to gradually privatize public education.
20 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

St. Mary’s Food Bank accepting citrus donations through April

It is citrus season for the St. Mary’s Food Bank, and donations are being accepted at both locations through April 30.
20 hours ago
(Arizona State University Photo; UArizona Photo)...
KTAR.com

ASU, UArizona ranked among nation’s top 10 online programs by US News and World Report

ASU came in at No. 7 on the list of online bachelor's programs with UArizona at No. 10 on a list of 359 schools ranked.
20 hours ago
A 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air III sold for $275,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale...
Kevin Stone

Barrett-Jackson car auction causing traffic jams in Scottsdale

The 2023 Barrett-Jackson collector car auction has been so popular that it's causing traffic jams as it breaks attendance records.
20 hours ago
(Arizona Capitol Museum Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizona Republicans change legislative rules on preserving emails, texts

Republicans in the Arizona Legislature changed the rules on how long state lawmakers have to preserve emails and text messages.
20 hours ago
Demonstrators stage a rally in front of the White House to celebrate President Joe Biden's plan to ...
Kevin Stone

Lawsuits keeping over 300,000 Arizonans from getting student loan relief

Lawsuits are preventing more than 300,000 Arizonans from having some or all of their student debt dismissed, the Biden administration said Friday.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Illegal border crossings surge to highest of President Joe Biden’s term