Newly released data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show that border encounters along the southern U.S. border continued a sharply skyrocketing trend throughout March, with immigration actions increasing 70% from February.
"Southwest land border encounters" numbered over 172,000 for March, the data said, a major jump from the roughly 101,000 encounters logged in February and well over double the nearly 80,000 encounters in January.
Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller said in a press release that the increase was "not new."
"Encounters have continued to increase since April 2020, and our past experiences have helped us be better prepared for the challenges we face this year," he said.
Border encounters have been increasing since April of 2020, the CBP said in the release, "due to reasons which include violence, natural disasters, food insecurity, and poverty in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America."
The Biden administration has been struggling to address the crushing surge of migrants at the southern border, with many federal facilities at times filled past capacity with detained illegal immigrants.