There were 128,410 encounters at the southern border in January 2023, according to a recent report from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The report stated this is a 42% decline from December 2022. It added that total encounters nationwide were 156,274, which is a 40% decline from the previous month.
This decrease comes after ten straight months of 200,000 plus border encounters, including a record breaking 251,000 plus encounters in December 2022.
There are some political developments we touched up in our December border numbers blog which could explain this drop.
The temporary extension of Title 42 at the end of December has likely discouraged some illegal immigrants from attempting to cross the border.
It also follows the implementation of a new Biden policy which allows 30,000 people from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Haiti to enter the country every month under a humanitarian protocol.
As we pointed out in our blog on this policy, there is no incentive to illegally cross into the country if the door is wide open to you. Critics say this policy is a little more than a public relations stunt meant to ensure border numbers are slightly lower each month.
As always, numbers are relative and that is especially true when it comes to the border crisis. As pointed out in a report from Fox News, these numbers are still high when compared with previous years.
They exceed January 2022, which recorded 156,274 encounters. It is also nearly double what was recorded in January 2021, when 78,414 encounters were recorded.
We are happy that numbers are down, but given the recent trends it is hard to be optimistic that this is little more than a temporary decline that happens on a yearly basis during this time period.
While some politicians will claim this is a sign the border crisis is ending, the reality is obviously much different. If last year is anything to go by, we are still in the midst of a record breaking crisis.
Action still needs to be taken to end this crisis once and for all, or once the weather warms up we will see another uptick in the spring.