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Illegal Immigrant Arrests in May at U.S.–Mexico Border Most in U.S. History

A large group of illegal immigrants crowd under a shady tree as Border Patrol agents organize transport near Eagle Pass, Texas, on May 20, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
A large group of illegal immigrants crowd under a shady tree as Border Patrol agents organize transport near Eagle Pass, Texas, on May 20, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Arrests of illegal immigrants at the U.S.–Mexico border in May set a new record, according to data released on June 15 by President Joe Biden’s administration.

Nearly 239,500 arrests were tallied in May, topping the previous record set in April.

Single adults made up about 69 percent of the arrests, family units made up about a quarter of arrests, and unaccompanied minors, or children who arrived at the border without a responsible adult, made up the rest.

A number of illegal aliens were arrested more than once in May. About 177,793 different people were arrested. A full quarter of the arrested illegal aliens had tried entering the United States at least once during the prior year.

A minority of the arrests, about 42 percent, led to expulsions under Title 42, a pandemic-era authority that the Biden administration has been forced to keep in place because of not giving adequate notice to the public. Most were processed under Title 8, which often results in illegal aliens being released into the U.S. interior while their cases sit in backlogged immigration courts.

“Current restrictions at the U.S. border have not changed: single adults and families encountered at the Southwest Border will continue to be expelled, where appropriate, under Title 42,” Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus, a Biden appointee, said in a statement.

“As temperatures start to rise in the summer, human smugglers will continue to exploit vulnerable populations and recklessly endanger the lives of migrants for financial gain. The terrain along the Southwest Border is extreme, the summer heat is severe, and the miles of desert that migrants must hike after crossing the border are unforgiving. Our message to those who would try and gain illegal entry to the United States remains the same—don’t make the dangerous journey only to be sent back.”

Republicans and some immigration groups blame Biden and his administration’s policies for the continued rise in illegal immigration. Under Biden, the United States in fiscal year and calendar year 2021 set all-time highs for illegal alien encounters.

“Another month, another record. The Biden Border Crisis continues to get worse,” the Federation for American Immigration Reform said in a statement.

“Joe Biden’s border crisis is inhumane and is destroying communities—his open border empowers drug traffickers and criminals,” Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said. “It is long overdue for Biden to see first-hand the harm and devastation he created and go visit the border for himself. There are lives at stake and communities being destroyed, yet Biden and the Democrats don’t care.”

The White House didn’t respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

Biden told a crowd in Los Angeles earlier this month that his administration is “securing our border and bringing order to the asylum processing in the United States” and that “every country needs to work together to maintain a humane and orderly immigration process, to invest in securing the borders, screen and registering migrants who enter their countries, and repatriating those that do not qualify to remain.”

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