U.S. border agents encountered 164,973 migrants at the southern border in February, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data released on Tuesday.
The number marked an over 60 percent increase from February 2021, which saw 101,099 encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“February…registered a slight uptick in the number of encounters along the Southwest border, with most individuals arriving from Mexico and the Northern Triangle, and the majority of noncitizens expelled under Title 42,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement.
The Biden administration struggled last year to stem a record-breaking number of migrants crossing the southern border. Over 150,000 migrants were encountered at the southern border in each month of the current 2022 fiscal year.
While the winter months typically see a slowdown in attempted crossings, border agents encountered 153,941 migrants in January, the highest number recorded for that month since at least 2000.
The Biden administration has used the Title 42 policy, first implemented during the Trump administration, to expel some migrants immediately upon entry over concerns of Covid spread.
However, Department of Homeland Security officials are reportedly planning to tell Mexico that the Title 42 policy may expire in April, according to Buzzfeed News. The end of Title 42 could cause a rise in attempted border crossings, DHS officials reportedly warned.