Border Agents Encounter 200,000 Migrants in August as Crisis Drags On

Central American migrants, who were airlifted from Brownsville to El Paso, Texas, and expelled walk towards Mexico escorted by U.S. Border Patrol agents on the Lerdo Stanton International Bridge, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, August 17, 2021. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

Border agents encountered over 200,000 migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border during the month of August.

Agents encountered 208,887 migrants in August, the second consecutive month with over 200,000 encounters, a senior Department of Homeland Security official told Fox News on Wednesday. Agents saw 212,672 migrants in July, the first time in 21 years that encounters rose above 200,000.

The number of migrants apprehended in August increased 317 percent from August 2020, when Customs and Border Protection reported 50,014 encounters, and a 233 percent increase from August 2019, when 62,707 migrants were apprehended.

Of the migrants apprehended in August 2021, 18,847 were unaccompanied minors, slightly down from July.

The Biden administration has struggled to process the thousands of migrants who have crossed the southern border throughout the year. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas acknowledged in August that the border crisis is “one of the toughest challenges we face.”

“It is complicated, changing and involves vulnerable people at a time of a global pandemic,” Mayorkas said at the time.

Mayorkas labeled the situation “unsustainable” in comments to Border Patrol agents in Texas in August, audio of which was obtained by Fox News.

“”A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico, and I said look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable,” Mayorkas said. “We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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