(CNN) – U.S. border agencies encountered more than 2 million migrants in fiscal year 2022, some of whom made repeated attempts to cross the border, according to newly released U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
The new data shows a significant increase from fiscal 2021, when there were more than 1.7 million encounters.
The government has been grappling with a growing number of migrants at the US-Mexico border in recent months, many of whom are now from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
There were 227,547 encounters with migrants along the US-Mexico border in September, up 12 percent from the previous month. The sharp rise in migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua contributed to the rise. In September, border officials detained 77,302 migrants of these three nationalities, data shows. That is 245% more than in September 2021.
“While failing regimes in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua continued to drive a new wave of migration across the western hemisphere, the number of Venezuelans arriving at the southern border has fallen sharply almost every day since we agreed additional joint measures with Mexico to reduce irregular migration to create a fairer, orderly and safer process for people fleeing the humanitarian and economic crisis in their country,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement.
The administration continues to rely on a controversial Trump-era pandemic restriction that allows authorities to turn migrants back, resulting in some migrants attempting to cross the border multiple times. Of the 227,547 encounters over the past month, 19 percent involved people who had attempted to cross the border at least once in the past 12 months.
Last week, the government also began deporting Venezuelans to Mexico. Administration officials have cited this as the reason for the recent drop in border crossings by Venezuelan migrants.
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