Customs and Border Protection encounters for the month of July dipped below 200,000 for the first time in months, according to statistics released this week, as the Biden administration closes in on 2 million apprehensions by CBP by the end of next month.
In total there were 199,976 encounters, with 166,792 unique encounters and 22% of all encounters in July were from repeat offenders, CPB said Monday.
In about 37% of encounters, migrants were processed and extricated under Title 42 authority, which is still in place as the legal battle over that policy makes its way through the courts.
"This marks the second month in a row of decreased encounters along the Southwest border. While the encounter numbers remain high, this is a positive trend and the first two-month drop since October 2021," said CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus.
Title 42 is the controversial policy implemented by the Trump administration restricting migrants from coming into the country under the auspices of a public health emergency.
The policy was first enacted at the beginning of the pandemic and has remained in place since then, despite advocates criticizing the administration for keeping the policy in place.
So far in fiscal year 2022, which ends on Sept. 30, CBP has apprehended more migrants than in all of fiscal year 2021, according to CBP statistics showing 1.8 million apprehensions.
Experts predict CBP will cross 2 million apprehensions by the end of the fiscal year.
"Almost 200,000 illegal aliens apprehended in July is the 2nd highest July total EVER," former Trump acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf tweeted. "Biden's July average of 206,785 illegal alien apprehensions is 340% higher than the 5-year July average before he took office. But remember, the border is secure."
CBP has also seen a fentanyl increase of 203% along the southern border from last month, and overall drug apprehensions long the southern border for fentanyl are close to the number of pounds taken in 2021.