The border crisis breaks a new record: More than 300,000 encounters in December on the southern border

A bipartisan group of congressmen negotiated a border agreement and the dispute between the Biden administration and the Texas government over Shelby Park continues.

Border Patrol reported Friday that it recorded a record 302,034 encounters on the southern border last December. Of these, 249,785 occurred between ports of entry.

The monthly number of encounters is not only the highest recorded in history but it also marks the first time that the figure surpasses the 300,000 mark. This was reported by CBP sources to Fox News at the beginning of the month.

The authorities also announced that the increasing trend, which has continued since October, could be coming to an end in 2024. Preliminary data indicates that, in the first two weeks of the year, encounters were reduced by 50%, although we will have to wait until next month for the total and definitive number to be released.

The border agency's report, published on Friday, contains another record number: 472,000 people expelled or turned away between May and December. "The majority of all individuals encountered at the southwest border over the past three years have been removed, returned, or expelled," the report states. "Total removals and returns since mid-May exceed removals and returns in every full fiscal year since 2015."

Immigration policy

The unprecedented figure is known while negotiations continue in Congress for an agreement. A bipartisan group of senators is trying to push a border enforcement bill that would include funding to support Ukraine's war efforts after weeks of negotiations, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema acknowledged.

The Washington Examiner reporters that sources claimed that the pact would ensure that asylum requests are resolved with the applicant in detention or, in cases of groups such as family units, they must be resolved in six months. It would also give the president new powers to deport immigrants if the average number of encounters exceeds 4,000 a day over the course of a week. If it exceeds 5,000 daily encounters per week or 8,500 in one day, the authorities will be able to automatically deny most of the immigrants.

House Speaker Mike Johnson posted Friday that "if rumors about the contents of the draft proposal are true, it would have be dead on arrival in the House anyway. I am emphasizing again today that House Republicans will vigorously oppose any policy proposal from the White House or Senate that would further incentivize illegal aliens to break our laws.” Then he focused, instead, on the possible impeachment process against the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, which will take place next week:

President Biden, on the other hand, expressed his opinion in favor of the negotiation on Friday. "What’s been negotiated would – if passed into law – be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country. It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed," he said and added that he would begin to take advantage of that power the same day the law is signed. 

From the Democratic field, some also targeted former President Donald Trump, claiming that he had told Republicans not to support the legislative package to improve his prospects in the campaign. Solving the immigration crisis is one of his most popular promises.

The record number of monthly encounters was published in the midst of the dispute between the Biden administration and the state of Texas over immigration management.