CBP Releases New Border Numbers May 2022

June 17, 2022


Record-breaking numbers at the U.S. southern border.
Another historic month as the trend continues higher.
What To Know & Why It Matters

The Numbers: May 2022

  • 239,416 encounters along the southwest border: A 2% increase from April, & the highest monthly figure in 20+ years.
  • 25% of people had a previous encounter within the last year. CBP says this “higher-than-usual” rate is partly due to the “large number of expulsions during the pandemic.”
  • 100,699 (42%) people were expelled under a provision re: public health safety (Title 42). 138,717 (58%) were processed under immigration law (Title 8) — allowed to stay in the U.S. pursuing asylum, detained or removed w/ no legal basis to remain.

Behind The Numbers

  • Those encountered included: Single adults (69%), individuals traveling as a family unit (25%), & unaccompanied children (those 17 and younger traveling alone — 6%).
  • Notable increase: Unaccompanied children encountered along the southwest border increased by 21% compared to the previous month, with an average of 692 in CBP custody every day in May; minors are not expelled under Title 42.
  • Encounters of families also increased by 8%, after increasing by 45% in April compared to March.

"As temperatures start to rise … human smugglers will continue to exploit the vulnerable populations and recklessly endanger the lives of migrants for financial gain."

CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus continued, “The terrain along the Southwest Border is extreme, the summer heat is severe, and the miles of desert that migrants must hike after crossing the border are unforgiving.” CBP has performed 14K+ life-saving efforts along the southwest border so far this fiscal year; that’s already more than all of last year, and nearly 3x the amount for 2019.

In CBP’s operational update for May, CBP Commissioner Magnus said: “Our message to those who would try and gain illegal entry to the United States remains the same — don’t make the dangerous journey only to be sent back.”

With May’s data, the total number of encounters for FY 2022 have reached more than 1.5M, a number on track to surpass last year’s record number of encounters (1.7M — the highest yearly figure ever recorded). In late May, a federal judge blocked the Biden admin’s planned lifting of Title 42. What happens next with this policy which allows for quick expulsions is TBD.

CBP Releases May 2022 Monthly Operational Update

Migrant rescues along US-Mexico border climb amid sweltering heat and high water levels (CNN)

Judge Blocks Lifting Of Title 42 At The Southwest Border (SmartHER News)

Southwest Land Border Encounters (An interactive chart from U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

by Jenna Lee,