Illegal alien encounters at the southwest border are on the rise according to the February numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

At ports of entry, the CBP reported 140,644 encounters. This increased by more than 16,000 from the previous month.

Additionally, CBP reports 189,922 total encounters along the border. “Total encounters include U.S. Border Patrol encounters between ports of entry, as well as individuals who presented themselves at ports of entry,” according to CBP.

In January, total encounters were 176,205. This marks a monthly increase of over 13,000 in February.

Center for Immigration Studies Resident Fellow in Law and Policy Andrew Arthur wrote in a recent study that February was among the worst in history in terms of illegal border crossings.

“February 2024 was the second-worst month for apprehensions of illegal entrants since Congress cracked down on illegal entries in the wake of September 11th, after only February 2022 — also under the Biden administration — and the worst February for overall CBP Southwest border encounters ever,” he wrote.

“Last month, Border Patrol agents apprehended 140,644 illegal migrants at the Southwest border, a 13.2 percent increase over January’s apprehension total. But then, January is traditionally the slowest month for entries at the border, so some rise was to be expected,” Arthur continued.

CBP also reported a steep rise in illicit drug apprehension at the southwest border. During February, seizures of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and marijuana increased 118 percent from January. During fiscal year 2024, which began on October 1, CBP seized 8,447 pounds of fentanyl. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, only 2 milligrams of fentanyl is considered a lethal dose—which means 8,447 pounds would be enough to kill every American.

Chinese encounters at the southwest land border are also seeing stark increases. According to CBP statistics, there were 3,537 encounters with Chinese nationals.

While this is down from 3,716 encounters in January, total encounters with Chinese nationals at the southwest land border have already reached 22,292 since October 1 (fiscal year 2024). During the entire fiscal year 2023, total encounters with Chinese nationals numbered 24,314.

Arthur has warned that “[m]ore Chinese nationals are crossing the San Diego border than Mexican nationals.”

“While there’s no evidence to support theories China is sending troops in civilian clothing to await Beijing’s attack orders, it’s virtually certain some of these young men and women are at least spies,” he wrote.

Will Biagini

Will was born in Louisiana and raised in a military family. He currently serves as a journalist with Texas Scorecard. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for Campus Reform.