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The increase of illegal migrants in the United States soared to record levels in the last 35 years. New Border Patrol data—obtained by The Washington Post—reveals that arrests surged to numbers like those in 1986 when then-President Ronald Reagan signed a sweeping immigration reform bill into law, totaling over 1.7 million apprehensions in fiscal year 2021 alone.
During Reagan’s term, the 1.69 million arrests of illegal migrants occurred nationwide. In comparison, however, out of the 1.7 million apprehensions, 1.66 million of them have occurred in the southern border alone.
The data shows that Texas’ Rio Grande Valley sector had the highest number of arrests with 549,000 Border Patrol apprehensions. While the Del Rio sector had 259,000 apprehensions.
In fiscal years between 2012 and 2020, border apprehensions averaged around 540,000. The 2021 figure tripled that number and is the second-highest annual total ever recorded.
Many accused the then-newly sworn-in President Biden of causing the crisis when he promoted open borders with the elimination of rules and actions implemented by Donald Trump to stop illegal migration in his inaugural speech.
The Biden administration issued a handful of immigration-related Executive Orders upon taking office that relaxed, and at times overturned, Trump-era policies.
Among some of the more controversial moves was the administration’s work to rescind the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required sending migrants back to Mexico while during immigration proceedings. DHS plans to restart the policy by November but is still proactively working to abolish the program.
“We’re seeing the highest number of cross border crossings and it’s all because of the catastrophic open border policies by the Biden administration,” said Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. He added that the Biden administration “completely abandoned” ranchers, residents of his state and “all the people who live along the border.”
Biden Administration refuses to call it a “crisis”
This Tuesday, October 19, during a confirmation hearing for Chris Magnus, whom Biden nominated to lead CBP, GOP senators asked him if what is happening at the border qualifies as a “crisis.” Magnus preferred to speak of a “significant challenge,” as the Biden administration has been claiming, and admitted that “the numbers are very high.”