Migrant families were continuing to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday, as one of Joe Biden‘s senior officials admitted that his more tolerant approach was likely encouraging many to try and enter, and border patrol officials spoke of their concerns about the large numbers slipping through the net.
New data published on Wednesday showed that the number of migrants detained along the southern border rose in February to levels not seen since 2019, when a dramatic surge in migrant family arrivals overwhelmed border facilities.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said their agents and officers detained or processed 100,441 migrants in February.
A group of migrants from Guatemala are seen in Texas on Wednesday, having crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico
Roberta Jacobsen, a special advisor to Joe Biden on migration, addressed the issue on Wednesday
Jacobsen told the White House reporters she knew it was not a ‘coincidence’ that more migrants were arriving under Biden
They turned away 72,113 migrants, forcing them back across the border under public health restrictions known as Title 42 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The CBP said 25,000 of the migrants they encountered in February had already attempted to cross the border previously.
Roberta Jacobsen, ambassador to Mexico from 2016-18 who now serves as a special advisor to Biden, admitted in a White House briefing on Wednesday that the timing of the surge was ‘no coincidence’.
She said: ‘We’ve seen surges before. Surges tend to respond to hope, and there was significant hope for a more humane policy after four years of pent-up demand.
‘So I don’t know if I would call that a coincidence.’
Under Biden, the Remain in Mexico policy, which kept migrants south of the border while waiting for their hearings, as well as asylum agreements with Northern Triangle countries have ended.
Biden has also narrowed ICE’s criteria for arrests and deportations.
The ending of the Remain in Mexico policy has opened the door to migrants, who have applied for asylum, being allowed to cross and begin their legal proceedings.
Migrants who had been in Mexico under the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program pass a group that were just deported on Wednesday
Ingrid Ramos, a Guatemalan who spent a year waiting in Mexico, hugs a friend as she readies to leave a shelter
Jacobsen said that the ‘more humane policy’ likely gave rise to rumors among people traffickers of leniency.
The ‘coyotes’, as the smugglers are known, then encouraged more migrants to pay to make the journey.
‘The idea that a more humane policy would be in place may have driven people to make that decision, but perhaps, more importantly, it definitely drove smugglers to express disinformation, spread disinformation about what was now possible,’ she said.
said that with a $4 billion plan, Biden hoped to tackle immigration at its root causes, working to make Latin American countries safer and more prosperous, and reduce the incentive to leave.
The sharpest uptick in migrant numbers was at Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, which went from 17,000 migrant apprehensions in January to nearly 28,000 in February.
The area has long been the busiest crossing route on the border.
Arizona also saw large increases.
The two Border Patrol sectors that cover the Arizona-Mexico border, Tucson and Yuma, went from 12,372 apprehensions in January to 19,740 last month, according to AZ Central.
Border Patrol facilities, operating at reduced capacity due to COVID, were unable to cope and so migrants were released into southern Texas and Arizona.
Art del Cueto, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, said that his colleagues were detaining people from around the world, saying they stopped Cubans, Pakistanis and Romanians.
Art Del Cueto, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, said they were worried about who they failed to stop
Del Cueto pointed out smuggling routes through the mountains in an area controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel
He showed Fox News an infamous smuggling route, and said that they were deeply troubled by the smugglers’ activities.
‘Those drugs are not just affecting the border,’ he said.
‘They are going into middle America and across the country affecting kids.
‘This is a true epidemic affecting high school kids and heroin. And it’s coming through this border.’
Del Cueto said that they estimated they had failed to apprehend 39,000 people so far this year, who had slipped through unchecked.
‘You don’t know who they are. The big issue is: who are you not apprehending?’ he said.
‘My biggest fear is not who we are apprehending but who we are not apprehending and Americans don’t understand that.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk