The number of migrants arrested at the southern border in the 2021 fiscal year is the highest since 1986, new Customs and Border Protection data shows.
The data, which is still unpublished but was obtained by The Washington Post, shows that border authorities detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border between October 2020 through September 2021.
The data is expected to be released publicly late this week.
Illegal crossings began skyrocketing in the months after President Joe Biden was inaugurated – and while the administration initially tried to blame Trump’s policies for the increase, migrants have repeatedly said they made the trek to the U.S. with the belief the new administration would allow them to stay.
‘They weren’t wrong,’ North Carolina Representative Dan Bishop tweeted of migrants’ assumptions about being able to stay in the U.S. illegally under Biden’s leadership.
Another pull, migrants said, was the labor shortages in the U.S. exhibiting to them a need for workers.
In another dismissal of the growing crisis, Biden described the rise in spring 2021 as consistent with seasonal norms. That, however, did not remain true as the highest-levels of illegal crossings came during the hottest months of the year, July and August.
More than 200,000 migrants were taken into CBP custody each month.
Biden’s team has continued to dismiss the crisis at the southern border, refusing to call it just that – a crisis – even as humanitarian issues emerged with overflowing holding and processing centers that reportedly served undercooked or spoiled food to unaccompanied minor migrants, as well as limited outdoor time and shower use.
In fiscal year 2021, more than 1.7 million migrants were taken into U.S. custody, new numbers being released later this week reveal. Here a group of migrants are process by immigration officials after crossing illegally from Mexico into Roma, Texas on September 30
The total encounters in FY 2021 are the highest since 1986 and far surpass any migration numbers in the surge during Donald Trump’s presidency
Haitian migrants wait on Tuesday to board a boat that will take them to Colombia as they trek from South America to the U.S. – in a sign the migration crisis will not cease any time soon
Some slammed the administration for its performance and response to the border crisis.
‘It’s long past time for President Biden and Vice President Harris to take this border crisis seriously,’ Republican North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis tweeted on Wednesday ahead of any official numbers announcement.
Arkansas Senator John Boozman tweeted: ‘It should restore the policies that were keeping our border under control and enforce our laws.’
‘It couldn’t be any clearer that we must confront this crisis,’ Louisiana Representative Julia Letlow tweeted. ‘Where is the leadership from the White House?’
During the 2020 campaign, Biden promised to make the U.S. more welcoming to immigrants, following four years of Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance policies.
But after being elected and during the transition, Biden said he wanted to move more cautiously to avoid ending up ‘with 2 million people on our border.’
Immediately after being sworn in, Biden halted border wall construction, ended the so-called ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, reversed asylum restrictions and announced a 100-day pause on most deportations.
During a Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Biden’s pick to head CBP, Chris Magnus, repeatedly would not call the situation at the border a ‘crisis.’
He admitted that ‘the numbers are very high’ and called the growing crisis a ‘big problem’ that requires ‘urgency.’
‘I’m not sure – does it really matter whether we call it a major challenge, a crisis, a big problem?’ Magnus countered.
‘I think it speaks to a level of urgency and seriousness of purpose and understanding of the gravity of the situation,’ the Indiana senator pushed back. ‘Presumably one would answer the call to serve in this position because you understand the importance at this moment in history of being commissioner of CBP.’
Young then reiterated his question: ‘So, do we have a crisis at the border – yes or no?’
‘Let me assure you that no one believes there is greater urgency to this matter than I do. I have been at the southern border –’ Magnus started, but was cut off.
Biden’s pick to head Customs and Border Protection, Chris Magnus, refused to classify the situation at the southern border as a crisis
Republican Senator Todd Young of Indiana pushed Magnus on the surge of illegal immigration under Biden during a confirmation hearing on Tuesday but was a unable to get the nominee to call it a crisis
The southern border crisis continues to surge as thousands of migrants head to the U.S. by way of Mexico. Record numbers of encounters have been reached every month of Biden’s presidency so far
‘So it’s urgent – I’ve heard the characterization,’ Young said. ‘Urgent strikes the common ear as less than a criss. Are you saying there’s not a crisis at the border?’
‘Senator, no I don’t think – I don’t speak to urgent as less serious, at all.’
The Biden administration has repeatedly refused to call the unfolding situation at the southern border a crisis, instead dubbing it a problem or challenge.
Even the president and his press secretary have refused to classify it as a crisis despite record numbers of illegal crossings and horrific and inhame pictures emerging from the border the U.S. shares with Mexico.
On Tuesday, Senator Cruz of Texas proposed a bill that would move processing centers for illegal immigrants around the country in a hope it would hit closer to home for Democratic elites, who he claims are ignoring the crisis.
‘If Washington Democrats had to endure even a fraction of the suffering South Texas families, farmers, ranchers, and small businesses have had to face, our nation’s immigration laws would be enforced, the wall would be built, and the Remain in Mexico policy would be re-implemented,’ Cruz wrote in introducing the legislation.
The Stop the Surge of Unsafe Rio Grande Encampments Act (SURGE) is aimed at alleviating the strain put on southern border state communities as the border crisis prevails.
Cruz said the bill would establish ‘new ports of entry in Democrat-led communities such as North Hero, Vermont, where Bernie Sanders spends his summers, and Martha’s Vineyard, where Democrat elites host their cocktail parties.’
Notably, Barack and Michelle Obama own a property on Martha’s Vineyard – an elite island community located off the coast of Massachusetts. The former president held a massive 60th birthday party there in August.
On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz proposed moving migrant processing centers to Democrat elite communities like North Hero, Vermont, where Bernie Sanders spends his summers, and Martha’s Vineyard (pictured), where Barack Obama owns a home
Other areas where Cruz is proposing these centers be set up are Greenwich, Connecticut; Cambridge and Nantucket, Massachusetts; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where Joe Biden owns a beach home; and Palo Alto, California.
Senator Young continued during Tuesday’s hearing to push Magnus on how he views the southern border conundrum considering, if confirmed, he would lead the agency directly involved with mitigating illegal immigration.
‘Is there a crisis or is there not a crisis at the border?’ Young asked on Tuesday.
‘I would say that my highest priority is going –’ Magnus started.
‘I didn’t ask your priority,’ Young cut in. ‘I asked you to characterize the situation at the border. Is there a crisis at the border?’
‘You’ve been nominated to serve as the commissioner to the Customs and Border Patrol agency at a time that I regard as a crisis. Are you saying there is not a crisis?’ he asked for a final time.
‘Senator, what I’m certainly trying to convey is how serious I take what’s happening at the border and the amount of work that I want to put into addressing it,’ Magnus said.
At the hearing, Magnus admitted that it would be beneficial for some areas of the southern border to be reinforced with a wall.
Montana Senator Steve Daines asked if Magnus feels they should complete the wall that former President Donald Trump started.
‘There are some gaps where [a border wall] could make sense,’ Magnus said.