The number of migrant encounters at the U.S. southern border climbed to a record more than 227,000 during the month of September, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
CBP uploaded the border numbers on Friday night in what was the highest number of encounters during the month of September in Department of Homeland Security history.
September’s 227,547 migrant encounters also show a significant increase from the same month in recent years.
In September 2021, there were 192,001 migrant encounters. Border agents encountered 57,674 migrants in September 2020 and 52,546 in September 2019.
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“While failing regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua continued to drive a new wave of migration across the western Hemisphere, the number of Venezuelans arriving at the southern border decreased sharply nearly every day since we launched additional joint actions with Mexico to reduce irregular migration and create a more fair, orderly and safe process for people fleeing the humanitarian and economic crisis in their country,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a press release.
“Over the past week, the number of Venezuelans attempting to enter the country fell more than 80 percent compared to the week prior to the launch of the joint enforcement actions,” he continued. “While this early data is not reflected in the latest report, it confirms what we’ve said all along: when there is a lawful and orderly way to enter the country, individuals will be less likely to put their lives in the hands of smugglers and try to cross the border unlawfully.”
Last month’s figures also saw an increase from August, when there were 203,598 migrant encounters.
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The September data revealed the fiscal year 2022 ended with 2,378,944 migrant encounters, the highest ever recorded in a fiscal year. This figure does not include the 599,000 known “gotaways” that CBP sources told Fox News evaded capture in the fiscal year 2022.
“CBP and DHS will continue to work with our partners in the region to address the root causes of migration, expand legal pathways, facilitate removals, and take thousands of smugglers off the streets,” Magnus said. “No matter what smugglers say, those who do not have a legal basis to remain in the country will be removed and people should not make the dangerous journey.”
CBP’s numbers also show that there were 20 known or suspected terrorists arrested at the southern border in September, bringing the total terror watchlist arrests at the border for the fiscal year 2022 to 98.
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In comparison, the number of terror watchlist arrests at the border for the last five years combined was 26.