A record 276,000 migrants crossed the southern border in December


The crisis at the beleaguered southern border has reached new heights this week, with the number of migrant encounters in December already breaking records – even if the last three days of the month are still being counted.

More than 276,000 asylum seekers hoping to cross the US-Mexico border were met by US Customs and Border Protection agents in December, the highest single-month number on record, according to shocking preliminary figures obtained by Fox News Friday.

This figure is expected to rise significantly when the last three days are counted. Illegal crossings exceeded 10,000 on some days during the month.

The December total so far is up an astounding 262 percent from December 2020, the final month of former President Donald Trump’s presidency — and eclipses the previous monthly record set in September, when 269,735 migrants were encountered, according to CBP statistics.

Meanwhile, there were more than 3.2 million encounters with migrants nationwide in fiscal year 2023, of which 2.4 million were recorded at the southern border.

The total for the entire country is almost equal to the number of births recorded in the United States in 2022, when 3,667,758 new babies were born.

The December figure also includes 225,000 migrants apprehended at the border in the first 27 days of December — also a record, internal federal statistics obtained by CBS News show.

The numbers do not specify how many of those arrested remain in state custody or are returned. The statistics also do not include migrants who show up at official ports of entry to apply for asylum through a new application introduced by the Biden administration.

An estimated 50,000 migrants are channeled through this system each month, according to CBS.

Stunned lawmakers gutted the Biden administration on Friday over the spiraling crisis.

“Another record broken by the Biden administration,” wrote Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on X.

“The border is wide open. The president must act immediately to stop the flow of drugs, terrorists and illegal immigrants.

Federal agents arrested 225,000 migrants in December. Reuters

“Remember: December SHOULD be a ‘slower’ month for migrant arrests,” Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) told X, blaming Biden’s Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Mallorca’s border crisis breaks its own records – and Americans pay the price.” There comes responsibility.”

Officials are struggling to manage the accelerating influx of asylum seekers at overcrowded border crossings, with agents preparing for the arrival of a huge caravan of up to 15,000 migrants in the coming weeks.

“This is an unsustainable number of arrivals,” Theresa Cardinal Brown, a former U.S. immigration official under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, told CBS.

“We cannot continue to fund the system for more and more people. It’s a challenge at every level.”

Since Oct. 1, there have been more than 760,000 encounters with migrants at the border, according to figures cited by Fox News.

Meanwhile, another 11,000 migrants are crammed into camps in Mexico as they await a chance to cross into the United States.

Border officials are struggling to contain the wave. Reuters

“The number of encounters continues to fluctuate as smugglers and bad actors continue to spread lies and show a complete disregard for the safety and well-being of vulnerable migrants,” a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson told CBS.

“We remain vigilant and ready to ensure the safety of our staff, migrants and local communities, as well as the security of our south-west border.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador this week to address the spiraling crisis.

Although no concrete agreement was announced as a result, both sides said they were committed to stemming the tide.

“As we made clear today in Mexico City, we are committed to partnering with Mexico to address our shared challenges, including managing unprecedented illegal migration in the region, reopening key ports of entry, and combating illicit fentanyl and other synthetic drugs,” Blinken said after the meeting.

Mayors of three major cities are calling for additional funds to deal with the sudden influx. Reuters

While the short-term challenges posed by the wave are absorbed at the border and in nearby US cities, migrants inevitably disperse across the country.

Mayors from three major cities — New York, Chicago and Denver — held a joint press conference this week to express their concerns.

“As temperatures plummet in New York, Chicago, Denver and other affected cities, we are calling for a federal emergency declaration, financial support and a national resettlement strategy,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

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