Border encounters for 4 countries plummet in January: DHS

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — After months of soaring numbers, the Department of Homeland Security released data that showed a sharp decline in certain migrants crossing the border.

Encounters with Nicaraguan, Venezuelan, Haitian and Cuban migrants are down 97% since December, according to DHS data. The average number of migrant encounters from those countries currently stands at 115 per day, down from 3,367 per day at the beginning of December, according to the agency.

DHS said that will put the month of January 2023 on track to see the lowest levels of border encounters since February 2021.

This comes after a surge in Cuban and Nicaraguan arrivals at the U.S. border with Mexico led to the highest number of illegal border crossings recorded during any month of Joe Biden’s presidency.

U.S. authorities stopped migrants 251,487 times along the Mexican border in December, up 7% from 234,896 times in November and up 40% from 179,253 times in December 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows.

Encounters with individuals from these countries dropped from a seven-day average of 3,367 per day on Dec. 11 to a seven-day average of just 115 on Tuesday.

DHS said the decline comes as encounters with other noncitizens return to customary levels after the seasonal drop over the holidays

On Jan. 5, Biden announced the new border enforcement measures to limit illegal immigration that officials say provide safe, lawful and orderly pathways to the U.S.

The release said, “Data continues to show that when there is a lawful and orderly way, people are less inclined to put lives in the hands of smugglers.”

The new border enforcement measures mimic a model previously used for individuals fleeing Venezuela, Ukraine and Afghanistan.

The Border Report contributed to this report.