Migrant crossings spike as US plans to lift curb on asylum

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border has surged in recent weeks as the U.S. prepares for even larger numbers with the expected lifting of a pandemic-era order that turned away asylum seekers.

Immigration authorities stopped migrants 221,303 times along the Southwest border in March, a 34% increase from the month earlier and the highest in nearly two decades, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data filed with a federal court in Texas.

CBP was expected to publicly release the monthly statistics soon, before the looming expiration of a public health order that enabled U.S. authorities to turn back most migrants, including people seeking asylum.