Illegal immigrants are expected to overwhelm the U.S. border protection system. In January, Customs and Border Protection revealed, U.S. immigration authorities made 78,000 arrests at the southern border. The figure represents a 6% increase over December of last year, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports.
What is worrisome is not the figure alone, but that this was the highest recorded by immigration authorities in more than a decade. The mix of illegal immigrants remained largely stable from previous months, with single adults from Mexico accounting for most arrests, while families and unaccompanied children increased.
The WSJ reports that authorities reported that smugglers in the region intend to increase illicit activities in light of the fact that Biden’s immigration policies will be much less strict than those of former President Donald Trump. Smugglers, the newspaper comments, have been telling immigrants that the Biden-Harris administration would likely allow them to remain in the U.S.
The passage of illegal immigrants has increased dramatically since Biden’s arrival at the White House in January. Raul Ortiz, deputy chief of the Border Patrol, revealed that in recent days agents have arrested some 3,000 illegal immigrants daily.
The increase in these border crossings follows a change in Mexican law that has forced U.S. immigration authorities to release some asylum-seeking families, which the Biden-Harris Administration had hoped to prevent.
Immigration officials have been preparing for an influx of illegal immigrants, including families and unaccompanied children. On Tuesday, Customs and Border Protection reported that it reopened a tent complex to process immigrants who cannot be turned back quickly in the Rio Grande Valley, the busiest crossing region along the border. An emergency shelter to house unaccompanied immigrant children was also reopened in Carrizo Springs, Texas.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that for now the new administration plans to maintain an emergency public health policy at the border. That policy allows immigration authorities to quickly return nearly all illegal immigrants caught crossing the border to Mexico before they had a chance to seek refuge in the U.S.. “Now is not the time to come, and the vast majority of people will be turned away,” Psaki said.
She said the Biden-Harris Administration has not had the time to put in place a “comprehensive and humane process to process people arriving at the border.” She also said that asylum processing at the border will not happen immediately and will take time to implement.
In less than a month, Biden broke one of his promises
El American reported that since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration 300 immigrants have been deported. Honduran officials confirmed that 131 people were aboard a deportation flight. Another flight arriving in Guatemala was carrying 138 people, and an estimated 30 more people also arrived there.
Two legal experts told the AP that, regardless of the judge’s order on the moratorium on deportations, ICE could release immigrants with deportation orders, keep people in detention or otherwise delay the deportation process.