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Illegal border crossings jump ahead of Title 42 expiration

U.S. border officials report a sharp increase of the number of migrants that crossed the Mexican border compared to last month.

SAN DIEGO — The number of migrants apprehended by immigration authorities after crossing the southern border illegally increased by 25% in March compared to in February, CBS News reports.

Over 162,000 migrants were apprehended last month, according to U.S. Border Patrol agents. This is a jump from the 130,000 illegal crossings reported in February.

In March, officials processed 22,865 asylum-seekers who secured appointments to enter the U.S. through the CBP One app, according to the government data published Monday. Another 27,783 migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela flew to the U.S. under the sponsorship program.

The increase is still lower than the apprehensions made in March 2021 and 2022.

Border Patrol has reported over one million migrant apprehensions in fiscal year 2023, with another six months still to go. The agency recorded 2.2 million apprehensions along the southern border in fiscal year 2022, a record high.

This comes as the Biden administration prepares to expire the "Title 42" rule next month, which allowed officials to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants during the coronavirus pandemic.

CBS reports after Title 42 is lifted in Early May, that the Department of Homeland Security is preparing for up to 13,000 migrants to cross the border per day, or 400,000 per month.

The Biden administration is hoping to finalize a regulation that would disqualify migrants from asylum if they enter the U.S. illegally after failing to ask for protection in a country other than the one they fled that they traversed to reach American soil.

This rule will likely be challenged in court by migrant advocates, CBS News reports.

WATCH RELATED: Thousands of migrants arriving at U.S. border ahead of Title 42 expiration (Dec 19, 2022)

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