On Wednesday (January 26), the Biden administration pointed to data that showed new border measures, implemented earlier in the month, had already reduced the record number of migrant crossings experienced in December.
This statement by the Biden administration comes as 20 states have filed a lawsuit against the measures, claiming they’re unlawful.
Earlier in January, the Biden administration expanded its humanitarian parole program.
The program, first introduced in October, only applied to Venezuelans. However, the latest change meant 30,000 migrants from Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua could fly into the U.S., given they hadn’t crossed the Mexico or U.S. border illegally.
The migrants would be required to have a U.S. sponsor in addition to passing background checks.
This measure has been combined with an expansion of the Trump-era Title 42 to include the nations that would benefit from the humanitarian parole system.
The Biden administration has acknowledged the changes were made as a result of a record number of encounters along the Southern border.
The border crisis came to a head in December when there were more than 250,000 migrant encounters, breaking the record of even the busiest month in the fiscal year 2022 — which collectively had 2.3 million encounters.
The changes appear to be taking effect as the Department of Homeland Security revealed that there had been a 97 percent drop in encounters with migrants from the four nations in the humanitarian program.
The Department also revealed that this month is on track to have the lowest number of border encounters since the border crisis started nearly two years ago, in February 2021.