Amid rapidly increasing illegal immigration in anticipation of President Joe Biden’s pro-immigration policies, the administration announced on Tuesday the opening of a new tent facility in Texas to help handle the surge at the US-Mexico border.
Referred to by Customs and Border Protection as a “soft-sided facility,” the tents erected in Donna, Texas, will be used primarily “to safely process individuals in U.S. Border Patrol custody.”
“The facility is weatherproof, climate-controlled, and is expected to provide ample areas for eating, sleeping, and personal hygiene,” a CBP press release stated. “The new facility’s design is a considerable upgrade from previous soft-sided facilities. The 160,000 square foot facility sits on 45 acres. The temporary facility was built to provide processing capacity for Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector while the permanent Centralized Processing Center in McAllen is undergoing renovation.”
According to CBP, the location was chosen because of it’s proximity to several Border Patrol stations throughout the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
Former President Donald Trump built a similar tent facility in 2019, but a sharp decrease in illegal immigrants at the border allowed the administration to close the facility last year, the Washington Times reported.
Numbers have started to climb once again in recent months, and according to one former CBP official, the agency is coming across 300 “Unaccompanied Alien Children” each day.
The official said nearly 4,500 individuals are attempting to cross the border every day.
“Since April 2020, CBP has seen a steady increase in border encounters from the Western Hemisphere due to worsening economic conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters impacting the area,” the agency said.
According to the Times, migrants have told Border Protection agents that they believe Biden’s administration will allow them to cross the border more easily.
On his first day in office, Biden signed an Executive Order that terminated former-President Trump’s national emergency declaration of the United States’ southern border and canceled border wall funding, calling the project “not a serious policy solution.”
In the order, Biden said that while the United States has the right and duty to secure its borders and protect Americans from threats, a “massive wall that spans the entire southern border” is a “waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”
“My Administration is committed to ensuring that the United States has a comprehensive and humane immigration system that operates consistently with our Nation’s values,” the order stated. “In furtherance of that commitment, I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border in Proclamation 9844 of February 15, 2019 (Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States), was unwarranted. It shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall. I am also directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to construct a southern border wall.”
The Biden administration also announced a 100-day pause on “certain noncitizen” deportations.
In January, hundreds of Cuban migrants reportedly tried to force their way into the United States along the border of El Paso, Texas, prompting U.S. Customs and Border Protection to deploy a Special Response Team to stop the attempt.
According to El Paso Times, over 200 migrants attempted to cross the El Paso-Juarez border bridge by force after a rumor spread that they would be allowed to cross the border into the United States.
As they approached the border bridge over the Rio Grande, several migrants chanted “Biden, Biden,” a reference to then President-elect Joe Biden, the Diario de Juarez newspaper reported.