U.S. officials say the number of immigrant families on the U.S. border in June rose 25 percent from last month, although summer temperatures are rising in the deserts and mountainous terrain of southwestern border areas.
According to new figures released Friday, the Customs and Border Protection Agency counted 55,805 family members with children in June, up from 44,746 in May. Despite the significant increase, the figure is much lower from 88,587 in May 2019.
Overall, officials say they encountered 5% more migrants trying to cross the border in June compared to May but a good portion of that increase is attributed to repeated attempts by people trying to enter the United States.
The pandemic-related powers that the government can expel most immigrants from the country without allowing them to seek asylum have led to a higher-than-average number of those trying several times to cross the border says these figures could indicate a larger number of people than are actually coming to the border, the Customs and Border Protection Agency said in a report.
Going back does not bring legal consequences, so many people try to cross several times. Former President Trump’s administration had issued a public health order in March 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and President Joe Biden has kept it in place.
The new figures show that just over a third of the 188,829 people encountered at the border in June had successfully attempted to cross at least one more time in the previous 12 months.