The number of migrants illegally crossing the southern border is reaching a 20-year high, with the number of unaccompanied children increasing 63% last month, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, reports the WSJ.
According to a Department of Homeland Security document (obtained by NPR), 4,276 unaccompanied migrant children as of Sunday were in U.S. government custody. Those minors, who arrived at the U.S. border without a parent or legal guardian, are spending an average of 117 hours in detention facilities, far longer than the 72 hours allowed by law.
As the DHS grapples with a surge in migrants — particularly unaccompanied minors — to the U.S.-Mexico border, the United States is on track to see the highest number of migrants on the country’s southern border than at any time in the last 20 years,
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, in answering repeated questions about the uptick in asylum-seekers as a “crisis” spurred by the Biden administration, argued the issue was bigger than a single administration.
In responding to critics arguing his administration’s policies are incentivizing chaos and empowering cartels, Joe Biden responded:
“What do you do with an unaccompanied child that comes to the border…take them from their mothers?”
A Mexican official maintains that migrants are now as valuable as drugs for gangs:
“’Migrants have become a commodity…. But if a packet of drugs is lost in the sea, it’s gone. If migrants are lost, it’s human beings we’re talking about.’”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration, is attempting to silence Border Patrol agents from speaking to media about the crisis by suppressing data about the number of migrants in custody, denying “ride alongs” with agents on the border, and requiring local press officers to send all queries—even from local media—to Washington for approval.
“[T]he restrictions are seen as an unofficial ‘gag order’ and are often referred to that way among colleagues.”
From Republican Rep. Michael McCaul (TX), referencing strict Trump-era immigration policies that have since been suspended by the Biden administration:
The Trump administration, in my judgment, did a masterful job in negotiating the Remain in Mexico policy and the Asylum Cooperative Agreements with Central America. Cartels and traffickers see that the green light is on at our southern border and the United States is open for business again.
This administration has created this crisis by rescinding these agreements.
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