WASHINGTON – The number of migrants coming to the U.S.-Mexico border reached a record high in May, but the number of unaccompanied children and families continues to go down, according to new statistics released by Customs and Border Protection.
Overall, CBP encountered 180,034 people attempting to enter the U.S. at its southern border. That number is up from April, when officials encountered 178,854 people at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Despite the increase of migrants, fewer unaccompanied children and families were encountered at the border. According to the CBP statistics, officials encountered 14,158 unaccompanied children, down from 17,148 in April. The number of families encountered by CBP officials was 44,639, compared to the 50,094 encountered in April.
The majority of people that CBP officials encountered were single adults. According to the statistics, 121,082 single adults were encountered at the border. But 112,302 single adults were expelled under Title 42, CBP said. Title 42 allows Customs and Border Protection to expel undocumented migrants to prevent the spread of the virus in holding facilities. In total, 62 percent of all May encounters resulted in a Title 42 expulsion, which includes single adults and some family units.
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The Biden Administration over the past several months has grappled with increased numbers of migrants coming to the U.S.-Mexico border. The Biden Administration has repeatedly said that borders are closed and has given no indication as to when they will end the Title 42 policy.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who has been tasked with working with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to develop solutions to the root causes of why migrants are coming to the United States. Harris was in Guatemala on Sunday and Monday, where she met with local leaders and Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei. She also visited Mexico, where she met with local entrepreneurs and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
During a speech in Guatemala, Harris told individuals from the region not to travel to the United States.
"I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come," Harris said. "The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.
“If you come to our border, you will be turned back. So let's discourage our friends or neighbors or family members from embarking on what is otherwise an extremely dangerous journey," she added.
Reach Rebecca Morin at Twitter @RebeccaMorin_
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: More than 180,000 migrants encountered at the border, CBP says