Most Migrants Are Still Released Into the Country After Apprehension

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May 19, 2023

Most of the migrants who are apprehended at the border are released into the United States, new data from Customs and Border Protection show.

While the number of individuals crossing into the United States has fallen to just a quarter of the 10,000 daily crossings last week, a larger portion of them are released into the country, the Washington Times reported. In the five days after the May 11 lapse of Title 42, nearly 7 out of 10 illegal migrants that were processed by border agents were released.

Title 42 was a pandemic-era measure that allowed border agents to turn migrants away. The days running up to the end of the rule saw record numbers of migrant crossings. More than 67,700 apprehensions occurred along the border last week, not including at least 15,780 gotaways, Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz said May 12.

One of those caught was an Afghan national whose name is on the terror watch list.

The Biden administration claimed it would impose punishments for illegal entry in the wake of Title 42. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the new measures would deter migrants, the Washington Times reported:

"We will deliver consequences to individuals that arrive at our southern border irregularly," the secretary said at the border last week.

Chief among those consequences is "expedited removal," which can result in deportation in a couple of days.

Deportees who try to return to the U.S. illegally can be charged with felonies and face five-year bans on legal reentry.

The CBP data doesn’t detail how many people were put into expedited removal but shows how many were transferred to ICE, where they might face deportation. That rate went from about 5% of migrants in the days before the expiration of Title 42 to 11% afterward.