New data from Customs and Border Protection shows another rise in the number of apprehensions across the nation’s southwest border. CBP says Border Patrol agents encountered almost 190,000 people across the border in June, including more than 18,000 in the Tucson Sector.
But many are crossing more than once. The agency says more than 30% of the month’s apprehensions were of people who had at least one prior encounter in the last year — more than double the rate in past years.
Since last March, the agency has worked under the pandemic-era protocol Title 42, which allows border officers to send almost all migrants back into Mexico. Under the policy, migrants don't face the same legal consequences for crossing multiple times. Immigrant rights advocates say it also sends vulnerable asylum seekers and migrants into limbo in resource-strapped border towns.
Rescue missions are also on the rise. CBP says border officers have conducted almost 10 thousand operations since October of last year. Amid a deadly heat wave in Arizona last month, migrant advocates say they recovered 43 sets of human remains in the desert borderland.