Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said a review of its March 2021 operational statistics showed a continued trend of increased encounters and arrests.
“We are committed to balancing the need to maintain border security, care for those in our custody and keep the American people and our workforce safe,” CBP Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller said.
In March 2021, the agency encountered more than 172,000 persons attempting entry along the Southwest border, which authorities said represented a 71 percent rise over February 2021 while attributing the increases to violence, natural disasters, food insecurity, and poverty in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America.
Additionally, the agency noted in March 2021, there were 103,900 individuals expelled under Title 42, with 28 percent previously expelled from the United States under the same authority. Title 42 expulsions represented 60 percent of the total encounters for the month.
The CBP report also indicated a continuation of increases in the number of unaccompanied children from Central America at the Southwest border, with 18,890 in March 2021, reflecting a 100 percent increase over February. Authorities added unaccompanied children make up the largest demographic group of individuals in custody at CBP facilities.
With regard to large groups, the CBP report detailed a recent return to encounters of large groups, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley region, noting as of the end of March 2021, CBP recorded 49 large group encounters in Fiscal Year 2021, totaling over 4,700 individuals.