The US recorded 1.7 million illegal border crossings in the past year, the most since records began

The US recorded 1.7 million illegal border crossings in the past year, the most since records began
  • A record-high number of migrants were caught trying to illegally enter the US in the past year.

  • Unaccompanied minors accounted for 147,000 of the 1.7 million total recorded by border officials.

  • The surge could be caused by job losses during the coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reports.

The US tallied a record number of illegal border crossings by migrants over the past year, The New York Times reported.

As the publication noted, border officials recorded 1.7 million illegal crossings over the past year, the most since at least 1960, when the government began keeping records. The Washington Post noted it was more than triple the average number of annual border arrests, 504,000, for the previous nine US fiscal years, which run through the end of September.

Of the latest figure, 1.1 million of the arrests were single adults, while 479,000 were of members of migrant families - about 48,000 fewer than in 2019. Almost 147,000 children were found to have crossed the border without parents or guardians, US Customs and Border Protection reported.

US illegal migrant graphic

As The Times reported, the number of unaccompanied children apprehended was the highest since 2008, when the government started keeping records of them as a category.

People from 160 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America were recorded, with the most coming from Mexico, the publication reported.

As The Times noted, the surge in migration is likely to have had numerous causes including the coronavirus pandemic, as people from around the world sought out economic opportunities after facing job losses.

The US land borders with both Mexico and Canada have been closed for nonessential travel for 19 months because of the pandemic.

The US plans to reopen the borders for fully vaccinated travelers next month, however.

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