The United States continues to experience its worst border crisis in decades. The open borders policy implemented by the Biden-Harris administration during its first weeks in office, the immediate eliminations of the Trump administration’s immigration policies and the pro-immigration rhetoric promoted by the Democratic duo during their campaign were some of the factors that provoked the surge at the border with Mexico.
Faced with this situation, the United States opted to release 50,000 migrants conditioned to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), however, very few of those released attended the mandatory meeting according to a report by Axios.
Of these 50,000 released migrants, only 13 % showed up at ICE offices. According to the media this is relevant because “The sizable numbers are a sign of just how overwhelmed some sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border continue to be.” In addition, “A single stretch covering the Rio Grande Valley had 20,000 apprehensions in a week. The figures also show the shortcomings of recent emergency decisions to release migrants.”
According to the news website, “It’s unprecedented for agents to release migrants without an official notice to appear in court.” Axios reported that the released migrants were given “a list of addresses and contacts for ICE offices across the country and told to report to one of them.” Those migrants were promised to get work permits to report to the offices when they arrive at their destinations.
Thirteen percent of the 50,000 migrants corresponds to only 6,700 migrants “who crossed between mid-March and mid-July showed up at ICE offices as of Monday,” according to “a source briefed on Department of Homeland Security data told Axios.”
Most troubling is that, of those 50,000, a total of 16,000 migrants already exceeded the 60 working days they were given to report to the offices. “That’s 2.4 no-shows for every one that has checked in,” the report says. “Another roughly 27,000 migrants who crossed and were released during the same time frame have yet to turn up, but remain within the 60-day window for reporting. One DHS official emphasized that nearly 70% of migrants are within the 60-day window or have reported to ICE.”
Migrants continue to be released inside the U.S.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) reported that as of last Monday, July 26, some 7,300 migrants in the Rio Grande Valley sector “had been released during the past week without court dates.” The total number of migrants released since last March is 55,000, according to Cuellar.
This number of migrants released without court dates may be increasing because the flow of migrants is not stopping. In fact, according to U.S. Border Patrol Chief Agent Brian Hastings of the Rio Grande Valley Sector, some 20,000 illegal migrants were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley last week alone.
Some 189,000 undocumented immigrants were apprehended during the month of June at the southern border of the United States, an increase of 4.5 % over May’s figures, which already set an all-time record for more than two decades.
Criticism of the Biden-Harris administration over the border crisis also continues, especially from Republicans. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, complained to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that illegal migration has been increasing every month since the inauguration of President Joe Biden’s administration on Jan. 20.
“President Biden told us all in March that the elevated border numbers were seasonal and we should expect those to go down as the summer approached,” Portman said. “But now that we are in the hot and dangerous summer months, border encounters have not gone down. In fact, they continue to rise.”
The Biden-Harris administration is having multiple problems dealing with the border crisis. Vice President Kamala Harris’ approach to help solve the structural problems in Central America may be a long-term solution, however, that plan does not measure the crisis in South American countries that are increasingly exporting migrants because of their economic crises and political and social instabilities. In addition, urgent actions are needed to counteract the large migratory flow.
Likewise, the excuse of a seasonal phenomenon promoted by the administration is increasingly losing its force in the face of the gradual increase in migration to the United States, even in the summer. Moreover, the Democratic administration has attempted to change its approach to dealing with the migration crisis as it goes along, changing pro-immigration rhetoric and re-establishing the policies promoted and implemented by Trump.