In 2022, immigrants crossed over the American borders illegally at a record number, reaching nearly 3 million. According to Customs and Border Protection data, in the fiscal year 2022, undocumented immigrants crossing into the country topped 2.76 million, breaking the previous record.
The spike was caused by increased numbers of Venezuelans, Cubans, and Nicaraguans trying to come to the U.S.
The previous annual record was passed by more than 1 million.
For the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2022, CBP detained migrants more than 2,766,582 times, compared to 1.72 million times for fiscal 2021, the previous yearly high, NBC News reported
In September, there were 227,547 encounters along the borders, up 12 percent compared to August. A year before, in September 2021, there were 192,001 encounters at the border.
The majority of people attempting to enter the country illegally are stopped the increase could indicate a major boost in the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population.
Immigration has been a seesaw over the past two decades. From 1990 to 2007, the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population rose rapidly. It then dropped sharply for two years and leveled off at 10.5 million in 2017, according to Pew Research Center.
There has also been a shift in who is entering the U.S. illegally. Unauthorized Mexican immigrants are no longer the majority of those living illegally in the U.S. Beginning in 2017, 4.9 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. were born in Mexico, while 5.5 million were from other countries.
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Between 2007 and 2017, the population of unauthorized immigrants born in Central America and Asia increased, while birth regions of South America and Europe saw declines.
There has also been an increase in immigrants who arrived in the country legally but overstayed their visas. Immigrants from countries outside of Mexico and Central America accounted for almost 90 percent of overstays, and in 2017, there were more than 30 overstays for every border apprehension for these countries.
From 2007 to 2017, the share of newly arrived unauthorized immigrants (those in the U.S. five years or less) from regions other than Central America and Mexico went up from 37 percent to 63 percent. During that same period,, the share of new unauthorized immigrants from Mexico dropped from 52 percent to 20 percent.
Migrants wait to be processed after crossing the border on Jan. 6, 2023, near Yuma, Arizona. U.S. authorities have seen a 97% decline in illegal border crossings by migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela since Mexico began accepting those expelled under a pandemic-era order, the Biden administration said Jan. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)