The US Asylum Backlog Is Nearing 1.6 Million, The Highest Number On Record

A US Border Patrol agent (L) leads migrants who crossed into the US from Mexico to a van for transportation in El Paso, Texas, on December 21, 2022. - The US Supreme Court halted December 19, 2022 the imminent scrapping of a key policy used since Donald Trump's administration to block migrants at the southwest border, amid worries over a surge in undocumented immigrants. An order signed by Chief Justice John Roberts placed an emergency stay on the removal planned for December 21, 2022 of Title 42, which allowed the government to use Covid-19 safety protocols to summarily block the entry of millions of migrants. (Photo by Allison Dinner / AFP) (Photo by ALLISON DINNER/AFP via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • A growing number of asylum seekers are being electronically monitored through the Department of Homeland Security’s Alternative to Detention program, while a small portion – about 2,000 – are in ICE detention, according to the clearinghouse.
  • The analysis comes amid a recent surge in migrants – many from Venezuela and Haiti – at the southern US border.
  • Despite the continued cold temperatures, border agents in the El Paso area continue to encounter between 1,500 and 1,600 migrants every day, a federal law enforcement source with knowledge of operations on the ground told CNN.

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