U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had 212,672 encounters with migrants along the southern border in July. It’s a shocking number, and is greater than any other month in the last 21 years.

CBP reported that of the over 212,000 encounters, 52% of them (110,443) were with single adults.

The number of interactions with unaccompanied children increased by 24% in one month, from 15,234 in June to 18,962 last month. “In July, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 1,363 per day, compared with an average of 794 per day in June,” CBP noted.

Additionally, the number of encounters with family units skyrocketed from 55,839 in June to 82,966 in July, a stunning increase of 49% in one month.

Border Encounters Graph

Photo from U.S. CBP

“The vast majority of single adults and many families continue to be expelled under the CDC’s Title 42 authority, and those who cannot be expelled under Title 42 and do not have a legal basis to remain are placed in expedited removal proceedings,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller.

However, according to The Wall Street Journal, only “47% were immediately sent back to Mexico under the health-emergency policy known as Title 42, though just 13% of migrants traveling as families were turned back.”

The WSJ also notes, “The past six months mark the longest period in recent history that monthly crossings have remained near or above 100,000, an unrelenting pace that has placed a heavy strain on the immigration system.”

Especially at risk are unaccompanied children, who face substantial danger on their journey north. Many unaccompanied girls are sexually assaulted along the way.

According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, “Unauthorized migrants from Central America, often lacking legal protection in Mexico because of their immigration status, have reportedly become increasingly vulnerable to human trafficking, kidnapping, and other abuses.”

Unaccompanied children “pay money to transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) such as Los Zetas, to lead them through Mexico and across the U.S.-Mexico border,” the report notes.

Up to 80% of unaccompanied children travel with smugglers, some of whom “have reportedly sold migrants into situations of forced labor or prostitution (forms of human trafficking) in order to recover their costs; other smugglers’ failure to pay Los Zetas has reportedly resulted in massacres of groups of migrants.”

The massive number of migrants crossing the southern border has created a humanitarian crisis.

Focus President Jim Daly recently wrote about the great need for our elected officials to find a reasonable and compassionate solution.

“Regardless of our political party, our faith demands that we urge our elected representatives to find a humane and God-honoring solution that best preserves the integrity and sanctity of the family unit while also protecting our borders and assuring the safety of our citizens,” he wrote.

“We must hold our elected officials who have encouraged this crisis accountable – and we must pray for those innocent children caught in the fray.”

Photo from Shutterstock