(CNN) – US border authorities found that migrants crossed the border with Mexico more than 162,000 times in March alone, up 25% from the previous month, according to the latest data from US Customs and Border Protection. ).
The numbers reveal an upward trend in the number of immigrants crossing the US southern border since December, when encounters topped 221,700.
Biden administration officials still rely on a Covid-19-era border restriction, known as Title 42, that allows officials to turn away some immigrants at the US-Mexico border. However, that measure is set to expire in May, raising concerns within the administration about a potential increase next month.
Among the concerns are demographic changes at the US southern border of North Central Americans and Mexicans, who are more easily dislodged by immigrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti. Authorities said the launch of a new program that provides a legal route to the United States for Venezuelans, Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians has contributed to a drop in crossings for those nationalities.
Clusters of Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans who illegally crossed the US-Mexico border dropped from an average of 1,231 in seven days in early January, when the humanitarian parole program was announced, to an average of 339 in seven days on March 31, the CBP said. .
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