Sharp Rise in Migrant Families Crossing US-Mexico Border as Arizona Gates Remain Open

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 09/05/2023
According to a recent report, there has been a significant increase in the number of migrant families crossing the US-Mexico border in August. This information comes after The Post disclosed that over 100 gates along the Arizona border have been deliberately left open by US officials, raising questions about the reasoning behind this decision.

Preliminary data obtained by the Washington Post reveals that US Border Patrol officials have apprehended a minimum of 91,000 migrants who entered the country as part of family groups. This figure surpasses the previous record set in May 2019, during the Trump administration, when 84,486 migrant families were arrested at the border.


In the month of August, a significant shift occurred at the border as migrant families emerged as the largest demographic group crossing, surpassing single adults. This marked the first instance of such a change since President Biden assumed office in 2020. 

In August, there was a significant increase in the number of individuals classified as "family member units" who voluntarily turned themselves in at the border. This brings the total number of such individuals who have surrendered at the border during the fiscal year to over half a million people, marking yet another record-breaking figure.

The number of unaccompanied minors crossing into the country has been observed to significantly rise, as reported by officials.

The increase in illegal border crossings coincides with a recent report by The Post, which disclosed that 114 large gates along the Arizona border have been welded open by US officials. This measure has been taken to facilitate the unrestricted flow of water during the monsoon season, which typically occurs from June to September.

According to Erin Heeter, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, the consistent influx of border crossings can be attributed to various factors. These include the natural fluctuations in the number of migrants arriving, which are influenced by seasonal trends. Additionally, the efforts of smugglers to exploit vulnerable migrants and incentivize migration also contribute to this ongoing issue.

According to recent data from Customs and Border Protection, a significant number of migrants, exceeding 54,000 individuals, were processed in August at the US border. Under the current policies of the Biden administration, a maximum of 1,450 migrants are permitted to schedule appointments each day through a mobile app, thereby facilitating their legal entry into the country.

In August, the total number of migrants encountered by CBP agents at the southern border saw an increase, reaching approximately 230,000. This figure represents the highest one-month total recorded in 2023.

The number of border arrests experienced a significant increase of over 30% between July and August. This rise comes after a notable decline in May and June, which coincided with the implementation of new migration restrictions by the Biden administration.

According to Heeter, it has been reported that the government has increased the number of deportation flights transporting families in the month of August. Additionally, it has been stated that since the month of May, over 17,000 parents and children have been repatriated by the government.

The Biden administration introduced a new initiative in May called the Family Expedited Removal Management Program. This program aims to address the ongoing migrant crisis by placing certain heads of households under GPS monitoring and expediting their deportation process.

According to CBS, the number of family members deported under the program is less than 100. This is because the majority of migrants are instead released into the United States. Once released, they are given permission to live and work while their humanitarian claims are being processed through the judicial system.

According to a report by The Post, the United States immigration courts, which often face a significant backlog, typically require several years to make a decision on the claims of each migrant. It is worth noting that the outcome of this process rarely results in deportation.

According to data collected by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, there is currently a significant backlog of cases in immigration court, with approximately 2.5 million cases awaiting resolution.


In order to streamline the procedure, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department collaborated in 2021 to establish a specialized immigration court docket in 11 cities. The purpose of this initiative is to efficiently handle family cases and ensure that they are resolved within 300 days from the initial hearing.

The company operates in various cities across the United States, including Boston, Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. The process by which families are assigned to the faster docket is still not fully understood.


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