June migration data from the U.S.-Mexico border, posted yesterday by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), show a 42 percent drop, from May, in the number of migrants who crossed the border in the areas between the ports of entry (official border crossings), ending up in Border Patrol custody. There is a lot of red (reductions) in this chart of tables:
At the same time, it shows a 27 percent increase in the number of migrants who were able to approach the land-border ports of entry. The 45,026 people processed at ports of entry in June 2023 was a record. There is a lot of green (increases) in this chart of tables:
The number of nationalities whose citizens go to the ports of entry more than 20 percent of the time increased from 4 in April to 9 in June.
This is positive. The “CBP One” app that migrants must now use to secure asylum appointments at ports of entry continues to have flaws, but with 1,450 appointments per day now available, wait times in Mexican border cities—while still too long—have decreased.
It is much more humane to process asylum seekers and other migrants at the ports of entry, instead of requiring them to cross rivers or climb walls to stand on U.S. soil and turn themselves in to Border Patrol. I encourage CBP to continue increasing appointments until protection-seeking migrants no longer have an incentive to take the great risk of crossing the border on riverbanks and deserts.
As that happens, Border Patrol can mostly be cut out of the asylum processing picture, a very welcome outcome.
And even if the Biden administration’s new rule banning asylum for many migrants who cross “improperly” survives court challenges, greater access to the ports of entry will make such crossings less attractive to protection-seeking migrants anyway.
The shifts in June are a step toward that.
Finally, here is a combination of the first two tables, combining migrants who arrived at, and between, the ports of entry in April, May, and June. Overall, migration declined 30 percent from May to June.