CBP report reveals lowest March for migrant encounters; Texas crackdown continues

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released its monthly update touting that the number of migrant encounters had decreased since last month. 

In March, the Border Patrol recorded 137,480 encounters between ports of entry along the southwest border. The encounters between ports of entry along the southwest border were 45% lower than in December 2023, and 16% lower than in March 2023.

While it was the lowest March for Border Patrol encounters under the Biden administration, CBP records show the first six months of fiscal year 2024 had 1,340,801 total encounters, exceeding the first six months of fiscal year 2023, which set a record of 1,226,254 total encounters. 

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Migrants storm the gate at the border in El Paso

More than 100 migrants rush through a border fence, March 21, 2024, as Texas National Guardsmen try to stop them. (James Breeden for New York Post / Mega)

The report comes as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott highlights his state’s own program, Operation Lone Star, which he said continues to fill the dangerous gaps created by the Biden administration’s refusal to secure the southern border.

“Construction on the border wall continues in Zapata County. While the Biden Administration refuses to secure the border, Texas works around-the-clock to deter and repel illegal immigration along the southern border,” Abbott wrote in a X post on Thursday. 

Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 507,200 illegal immigrant apprehensions, and more than 41,500 criminal arrests, with more than 36,900 felony charges, Abbott added. 

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Greg Abbott, border wall, Joe Biden

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Biden administration have been feuding over how to handle the growing border crisis. (Getty Images)

“Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Joe Biden’s open border policies,” Abbott said in a release. 

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CBP’s monthly migrant encounter statistics are gathered on the first day of the next month and released two weeks later.

“CBP — in coordination with our partners across the Federal government as well as foreign partners — continues to take significant actions to disrupt criminal networks amidst unprecedented hemispheric migration activity,” CBP Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy A. Miller said. “Encounters at our southern border are lower right now, but we remain prepared for changes, continually managing operations to respond to ever-shifting transnational criminal activities and migration patterns.”

Greg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vowed to appeal a federal ruling that blocks a state law that would have allowed authorities to arrest illegal immigrants and give state judges the power to order deportations.  (Getty Images)

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On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security also announced that an Afghan national, who is on the U.S. terror watchlist, was taken back into custody, after he was previously captured at the U.S.-Mexico border and released twice onto American soil.

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