(Trends Wide) — Daily migrant arrests along the US-Mexico border dropped by more than half in January compared to last month, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official told Trends Wide, citing the expansion of a Trump-era covid restriction and recently launched legal immigration programs to the US.
Last month, border authorities faced a surge in border encounters, averaging about 7,000 daily before the early end of Title 42, public health legislation that has been in place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Supreme Court temporarily suspended the end of Title 42, leaving it in effect for now.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration expanded a humanitarian program to include Haitians, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and Cubans in a legal pathway to enter the US instead of crossing the border. The government also made those nationalities eligible for Title 42, which means authorities can now turn them away if they don’t apply for the program.
Officials cited the Title 42 program and expansion as one reason for the drop in daily encounters this month.