More than 1.7 million people were encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021, according to recent data released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and more than half a million illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.
Roughly four out of five people apprehended at the border were from Mexico and Central American countries – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—the latter three comprising a region known as the Northern Triangle.
In addition to those four countries, there were also large increases in migrants arriving from South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For example, there were more than 4,100 Russians encountered at the border in 2021, compared to just 500 the previous year.
While the Biden administration has attempted to attribute the migrant influx to displacement due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on national economies, immigration experts and Republicans have attributed the large increase to lax border control.
“People view this as the time to come to the United States,” said retired federal immigration judge Andrew Arthur, Washington Examiner reported. “The Biden administration undid many of the policies that President Trump had…They really haven’t substituted those for any that would impede people from coming to the United States.”
The Biden administration, for example, cancelled border wall construction, limited border security, stopped funding to border security projects, and undid the highly-successful Remain in Mexico program, instituted by the Trump administration, which would require migrants seeking asylum to remain outside the U.S. for months while immigration claims were processed.
After a legal challenge and Supreme Court decision, the Biden administration was forced to reinstate the policy starting in November.
The state of Texas is seeking to reinstate Trump-era policies for the sake of the safety of border communities heavily impacted by Covid-19 spikes, food shortages, trespassing, and other open border consequences.