Katelyn Caralle, Daily Mail, July 15, 2021
From January to May, 711,784 migrants were encountered by Customs and Border Protection at the southern border – five times the amount during the same period in 2020 – and the Biden administration is on track to encounter 1 million by the end of July.
CBP’s latest data, released in June, show that there were 180,034 encounters with illegal crossers in May, the highest of any month in the last 20 years. The spike in migration under President Joe Biden‘s administration continues to grow with no signs of it coming to a stop any time soon.
The numbers for June have not yet been updated on CBP’s webpage, but pictures emerge at least weekly of groups of hundreds of migrants turning themselves over to U.S. immigration authorities at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Border officials are expected to reveal that they encountered 188,000 illegal immigrants in June, a knowledgeable source revealed, according to the Washington Examiner.
If the current apprehension trajectory continues, CBP will have encountered more than 1 million illegal immigrants at the southern border by late July – when Biden reaches his six month mark in office.
The number of crossers already reported by CBP since the start of 2021 surpasses the population of several large U.S. cities, like Boston and Nashville. It is also more people than the total people living in the least populated U.S. states of Wyoming and Vermont.
It is still not immediately clear where exactly these asylum seekers and illegal crossers are being sent after they are transferred out of federal immigration agencies’ custody.
There also appears to be no available statistics on how many immigrants who are encountered and taken into custody are sent back to Mexico, or their origin countries, compared to those who are put in an alternatives to detention program or otherwise released into the U.S.
Many that were being sent to Laredo, Texas over the last few months – but the Department of Homeland Security agreed this month to temporarily halt sending border crossers to the poor community as it struggles with resources and rising COVID-19 cases.
Laredo is designated as medically underserved.
‘DHS has agreed to suspend lateral transfers of immigrants from the Valley to avoid overburdening (non-governmental organizations) and local medical facilities in Laredo,’ Henry Cuellar, a Democrat whose hometown is Laredo, said in a statement Monday.
Other alternatives to detention (ATD) include parole-like programs, where illegal crossers are released and minors are sent to guardians in the U.S. and are required to either have check-ins at Immigration and Custom Enforcement offices, engage in home visits or be monitored by telephone or GPS ankle bracelets.
Republicans call this system ‘catch and release’ and are highly critical of its implementation.
In Biden’s first full month as president, the encounters jumped more than 22,000 in one month from 78,442 in January 2021 to 101,117 in February.
By March, Biden was experiencing a full blown crisis when CBP saw a record number of encounters in recent history with 173,337 encounters.
At that point, the administration put Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of the humanitarian crisis, asserting shortly after that her role is only to address ‘root causes’ as she became the immediate target for right-wing criticism after she spent her first three months in the positions avoiding visiting the border.
In 2020, Trump experienced some of the lowest crossing numbers in modern history – partly fueled by the coronavirus pandemic and his earlier zero-tolerance policies discouraging crossers.
The former president, however, credits these numbers to his border wall, which has since stopped being constructed since Biden took office and issued executive orders ending the project.
In 2019, Trump’s highest spike hit in May 2019 when there were 144,116 encounters.
Trump has continuously blasted Biden for halting construction of his border wall immediately after being inaugurated. During a CPAC speech on Sunday in Dallas, Texas, the former president attacked Biden for ‘bringing the country to the brink of ruin’ with the border crisis.
‘The Biden administration was handed the most secure border in history from President Trump, and has since systematically given away our Country’s sovereignty to the drug cartels and open borders’ radicals,’ Trump’s spokesperson Liz Harrington told DailyMail.com on Thursday.
‘Instead of protecting our border,’ she continued, ‘Biden is using our Military for a massive resettlement operation of illegal aliens, that flouts our laws and the Constitution, and endangers all Americans.’
‘We will lose our Country if this is not stopped,’ Harrington asserted.
The former president visited the border last month with Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott where he made remarks in front of an unfinished portion of the wall near McAllen, which has allowed a huge gap where migrants can more easily cross the border from Mexico to the U.S.
Harris beat Trump to the border by five days after she finally gave into pressure to survey the crisis for herself.
She was still blasted, however, for now visiting ground zero of the border crisis in the Rio Grande Valley, and instead going several hundred miles away to El Paso, where there are substantially less encounters with migrants.
Biden is looking into ways to address the crisis after two separate polls last month showed only one-third of American adults approve of Biden and Harris handling of the southern border.
One idea is getting more funding for technology at CBP and other border agencies to allow them to more easily surveil the border and stop these illegal crossings from happening in the first place.
The House Appropriations Committee advanced a bill on Tuesday that would allocate $475 million in DHS funding toward ICE and ATD for technologies for surveilling immigrants, which was well above what the Biden administration requested in its 2022 budget proposal.
A number of immigrants advocates have said these programs cause physical and emotional harm in arguing against their use.
More money comes as some progressives, like Representative Rashida Tlaib, have actually called for the defunding of the entire DHS – in particular targeting ICE and CBP.
Republicans, however, claim more needs to be done to address the crisis, including resuming construction of the border wall and implementing more hard-line policies that prevent migration rather than encourage it.
‘The exponential rise in illegal crossings at the border speaks to a crisis of leadership in Washington,’ North Carolina Representative Madison Cawthorn told DailyMail.com. ‘The American people have made it abundantly clear that a secure southern border is of the utmost importance. However, the pleas of our southern states have fallen on deaf ears in the White House.’
‘A nation without borders is a nation destined to fall, and every day that the Biden Administration fails to act, is another day that they have failed the American people,’ he added.
Cawthorn was one of the several GOP lawmakers who joined Trump during his trip to McAllen last month.