Border Patrol agents apprehended over 10,000 migrants a day on both Monday and Tuesday, setting a new record high for single–day totals, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources.
The numbers are expected to keep surging ahead of the end of the Title 42 public health order later this week. The order has been in place since March 2020 and has been used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to quickly expel hundreds of thousands of migrants due to the COVID–19 pandemic. In March, nearly half of all migrant encounters ended in a Title 42 expulsion.
Migrants have surged into border areas like Brownsville and El Paso, where thousands of migrants were camped out on the streets. To handle the increase, officials launched a targeted enforcement operation to urge migrants to head to nearby processing centers.
The Biden administration has been urging migrants not to make the journey north, claiming they will be removed if they enter illegally, but it does not appear to be a deterrant. The administration has sent personnel including troops to the border, and has said it is stiffening penalties for illegal entry once Title 42 ends. It is also rolling out a new asylum rule and creating processing centers across Latin America to screen migrants for legal pathways into the U.S. or other participating countries.
Still, Republicans have blamed the Biden administration for abandoning Trump–era border policies, such as wall construction and the Remain–in–Mexico policy, that they say were working to bring numbers down. The administration has pushed back, arguing that Republicans need to provide more funding for CBP and to back an immigration reform bill that would expand legal pathways while granting a mass amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S.
Now, Fox has learned that top border officials have decided to authorize all Border Sectors to begin “safe“ mass releases of migrants to city streets if NGOs do not have the room to hold them. The consequence of this decision is that migrants will be released at bus stops, gas stations, supermarkets and in towns and cities across the border as Customs and Border Protection facilities are already over capacity in multiple sectors.
“The dam is about to break,” one Border Patrol source said.
The Biden administration is now under pressure from both sides of the aisle to address the crisis. Republicans want border policies that reduce the number of illegal crossings, while Democrats argue for a comprehensive immigration reform package that expands legal pathways.
The administration is hoping that with Thursday‘s end of the Title 42 public health order, the surge in crossings will begin to slow down. But with numbers still expected to increase ahead of the order‘s expiration, the crisis is far from over.