WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – US officials said Monday they intercepted migrants more than 234,000 times in April, one of the highest marks in decades as the Biden administration prepares to lift pandemic-era restrictions on asylum claims.
According to a Justice Department filing, US Customs and Border Protection officials made 234,088 stops at the Mexican border last month, a 5.8% increase from 221,303 in March. In a lawsuit filed by Texas and Missouri.
The April total would have been shorter without the more than 23,000 people – many of them Ukrainian refugees admitted on humanitarian parole – who had crossed the San Diego border. The number of Ukrainians has declined sharply since April 25, when the administration began directing those fleeing Russia’s invasion from Europe to US airports instead of Mexico.
On May 23, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to end restrictions that have prevented migrants from seeking asylum under US law and international treaties based on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Migrants have been expelled more than 1.9 million times since March 2020 under the Title 42 Authority named after the 1944 public health law.
A federal judge in Louisiana is expected to rule in favor of 24 states seeking to keep Title 42 in effect during litigation proceedings. US District Judge Robert Summerhage, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, has said he will rule before 23rd May.
Even if the judge allows Title 42 to be abolished, Congress may try to keep it alive in a coalition between Republicans and some Democrats, who worry that illegal crossings may result in widespread speculation. The increase would put him on the defensive in an already difficult midterm election year.