Border encounters by the numbers: Here's what the data shows

As Pres. Joe Biden faces criticism over his new asylum order, ABC7 is examining data on border encounters and the impact.

FILE - A Border Patrol agent checks a migrant seeking asylum before the man is transported and processed, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, near Dulzura, Calif.
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Friday, June 14, 2024

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As the Biden administration faces criticism over significant restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, ABC7 is examining data on border encounters and the impact so far.

The order President Joe Biden issued last week would limit asylum processing between ports of entry once those encounters reach 2,500 per day. It went into effect immediately because the latest figures were far higher, at about 4,000 daily. During the last week of April, which is the most up-to-date data available, USBP's San Diego Sector alone encountered an average of more than 1,400 migrants each day.

The restrictions would be in effect until two weeks after the daily encounter numbers are at or below 1,500 per day between ports of entry, under a seven-day average.

A look at the data

During the 2024 fiscal year from October through January, the number of encounters along the southwest border was just over 961,000. FY 2021 through 2023 saw an increase in encounters compared to prior years. Encounters are when U.S. officials encounter non-citizens attempting to cross the southwest border of the country without authorization.

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In the month of April, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection had 32,267 less encounters than April 2023. Similar to fiscal year data above, April 2021 through 2023 saw an increase compared to lows in 2017 and 2020.

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The total number of monthly encounters along the southwest border has slightly decreased since February, when it hit nearly 190,000. This year's monthly totals so far are lower than the high in December 2023, when CBP officials saw almost 302,000 encounters. About 17% of December southwest border encounters were at the San Diego port of entry. There were 179,725 total encounters in April, 32% of which were in San Diego.

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During the 2024 fiscal year from October through January, the highest number of citizenships encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection were from Mexico.

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READ ALSO | President Biden's new immigration actions limits number of asylum seekers. Here's what to know

The Associated Press contributed to this report.