U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have experienced more than 500,000 migrant encounters since Oct. 1, sources tell Fox News.
The total migrant encounters reached 575,409 as of Dec. 22, Fox News’ Griff Jenkins reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The figure comes as the Biden administration has not yet reported an official number of migrant encounters, despite being more than 23 days into December. Experts anticipate border encounters for the month of November to be over 200,000, or near that of the record-setting October sum.
The National Border Patrol Council, a union that represents approximately 18,000 border patrol agents, said there were 209,000 migrant apprehensions in November. This would be the highest number ever recorded in the month of November.
Fox News Digital was not able to corroborate this figure, as the Biden administration has not released official data.
In October, CBP reported 230,678 migrant encounters — the highest ever for the month.
The remaining 344,731 migrant encounters for November and the early part of December would likely also set a record.
Of those who were met by CBP officials so far this fiscal year, approximately 177,818 were expelled under Title 42 – a Trump-era immigration policy that reduced the number of asylum seekers the U.S. allowed under the COVID-19 pandemic, which was set to expire on Dec. 21.
The Biden administration on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the pandemic-era policy to come to end but requested a delay until after Christmas.
In a filing on Tuesday, the administration said the end of Title 42 will likely lead to ‘disruption and a temporary increase in unlawful border crossings’ but nonetheless asked the court to allow Title 42 to expire.
According to sources, the remaining 397,591 migrants who interacted with CBP personnel through FY23 were subsequently released into the U.S.
The sources also said the total number of migrant deaths so far for FY23 is 86. CBP officials also carried out approximately 3,150 rescue operations through that span, the sources said.
The El Paso sector remains the most active border region with 150,236 encounters since Oct 1, according to sources. This figure matches previous monthly highs for the entire U.S.-Mexico border.
The record-setting figures come as freezing temperatures and wintry torrents in recent weeks have made crossing the border especially dangerous. Additionally, those who are camping out near the border with makeshift covers or outside over-capacity holding facilities also face freezing conditions.
These crossings are particularly prevalent in El Paso, Fox News’ Bill Melugin reported.
‘The Texas Military Department announces it is deploying another 200 TX National Guard soldiers and another 40 ‘high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles’ to El Paso. They will be brought in via C-130s,’ he reported on Wednesday. ‘This is on top of 400 soldiers TX already deployed to El Paso.’
Over 10 days ago, on Dec. 12, Melugin also provided a video showing over 1,000 migrants pouring across the border.
‘A huge migrant caravan of over 1,000 people crossed illegally into El Paso, TX last night, making it the largest single group we have ever seen,’ Melugin reported on Dec. 12. ‘The city of El Paso reports Border Patrol now has over 5,000 in custody & has released hundreds to city streets.’
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser declared a state of emergency during a press conference Saturday, saying he could no longer keep residents safe as border crossings have overwhelmed law enforcement personnel.
‘I said from the beginning that I would call it when I felt that either our asylum seekers or community were not safe,’ Leeser said, according to KFOX14.
The request includes asking for support in staffing for feeding and housing migrants, resources to transport the migrants into other cities, and additional law enforcement personnel to help ensure the safety of residents and the migrants.
The border ports of entry in Yuma and Nogales, Arizona have also seen constant migrant traffic and subsequent immigration-related drug busts.
Fox News’ Bill Melugin contributed to this report.