Illegal Border Crossings Shift to California and Arizona as Texas Cracks Down

Border Patrol agents process migrants in California (Getty Images)
February 2, 2024

California and Arizona have seen more illegal border crossings as Texas has taken unprecedented measures to shut down its own border with Mexico, Fox News reported Friday.

Sources in Customs and Border Protection told the outlet that during the last week of January, about 72 percent of Border Patrol's 32,809 apprehensions of illegal immigrants occurred in California and Arizona. Texas's Del Rio sector—where the state seized control of a section of the border including the highly trafficked city of Eagle Pass—once saw between 3,000 and 4,000 crossings per day, but it averaged 200 last week. The surge in crossings in California and Arizona represents a shift in migrant traffic away from Texas, according to Fox News.

Fox News floated two possible reasons for the shift. One was Texas's recent actions to beef up its border security. The other was the Mexican government's enforcement actions in its territory near Texas in the aftermath of a December meeting between its president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The news comes after the Texas National Guard in January blocked federal agents from accessing the 2.5-mile stretch of the border in the Del Rio sector. After the Supreme Court later that month temporarily allowed President Joe Biden's administration to cut Texas's razor wire on the border, Gov. Greg Abbott (R.) said his state "will not back down" in its efforts.

Customs and Border Protection saw more than 302,000 migrant encounters in December, the highest one-month total on record.