U.S. border authorities have recorded more than 1.7 million migrant apprehensions at the border with Mexico in fiscal year 2021, the highest annual number since these data began to be counted.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Friday released data for the end of fiscal year 2021 — October 2020 through September 2021 — in which the number of arrests was 1,734,686.

The previous high had been recorded in fiscal year 2000, when 1.64 million arrests were accumulated for illegal crossings at the southern border.

Thus, the last fiscal year has seen a massive increase in migration to the U.S.-Mexico border that peaked during the summer, reports U.S. media outlet CBS.

About 61 percent of those arrested were deported to Mexico or their countries of origin under Title 42, a measure taken by former President Donald Trump in the context of the pandemic emergency. The total number of arrestees included people from more than 160 countries.

The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, who has been entrusted by the President, Joe Biden, to manage the migration crisis, referred this Friday in an appearance before the media to these data and recalled that when the current Administration came to power “it inherited a system at the border that was practically destroyed”.

“There was no meaningful system to process asylum cases. The structure was really in disrepair. And it’s taking some time to fix it and get it back up and running,” Harris said.

She also acknowledged that Washington needs to “understand the immediate problems it needs to address, including rebuilding the system, and making it humane and fair.” “Also, part of the work I’ve been doing is looking at the root causes that cause people to leave their home countries to make that journey (…). We are seeing progress in both directions,” he added.

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