The United States claims to have detained more than 1.7 million migrants along its border with Mexico in the past year, the greatest number ever recorded.
According to US Customs and Border Protection figures, more than one million of them were deported to Mexico or their home nations.
People from more than 160 nations were detained by agents.
President Joe Biden’s popularity has been declining in polls, owing in part to his immigration policy.
In a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, only 35% of Americans indicated they approved of his handling of the situation.
Mr Biden campaigned on a more humanitarian immigration strategy than his Republican opponent, Donald Trump, but the US-Mexico border has been in crisis for the majority of the Democrat’s nine-month presidency.
The number of people detained in the fiscal year 2021, which concluded in September, was the most since 2000. More than 1.6 million migrants were detained at the US-Mexico border that year. However, since the 1960s, when US officials began counting such entries, the number has never exceeded 1.7 million.
According to US Customs and Border Protection, “the huge number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a higher-than-usual number of migrants undertaking multiple border crossing attempts.”
The majority of those attempting to enter the United States illegally came from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Adults travelling without children made up the largest group of individuals detained, accounting for more than 1.1 million people (or 64%)
At the same time, US authorities reported encountering over 145,000 unaccompanied minors, a new high.
On Friday, over 11,000 of those children remained in government custody.