Border Patrol has apprehended an extimated 150,000 illegal immigrants in March, increasing from the already record-breaking 100,000 in February, and the agency is on track to reach 1 million encounters by the end of FY21, according to a new report on Tuesday.
Former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan revealed the numbers he obtained via provisional CBP statistics from active sources, adding that in addition to the 150,000 apprehensions, 30,000 more immigrants avoided capture.
“The border is wide open … it’s not secure. Drugs are pouring in and criminal aliens are pouring in right now,” Morgan said during a press conference on March 30, as The Epoch Times reported. He later added that the current surge in illegal immigration can’t be rationalized as the usual seasonal uptick referenced by President Joe Biden in his first press conference since taking office last week.
“They created this crisis and they’re trying to spin and blame everybody but themselves,” Morgan said. “The only thing that’s really been put out there that’s honest is that we’re going to see numbers that we haven’t seen in over 20 years.”
Of the 2,200 people apprehended on March 25, 85 percent were released into the United States, a senior Border Patrol official said during a media call Friday.
According to the official, if an illegal immigrant parent brings a child under the age of 7, they are automatically released into the U.S. rather than expelled under the health emergency provision of Title 42.
Morgan said Border Patrol has repeatedly communicated with Biden’s team in “exhaustive briefings” to warn of that “unmitigated crisis” if the administration ended the Migrant Protection Protocols and Asylum Cooperative Agreements.
“We told them that again and again,” Morgan said. “We told them that the surge numbers would skyrocket and the Border Patrol facilities would be overwhelmed.”
On Friday, reporters were allowed access to the overwhelmed Donna, Texas, border patrol facility for the first time, revealing grim conditions. “Pods” designed to hold 32 illegal immigrants were packed with 615 children, making them 1,700 percent over capacity, CBS News reported.
Over 2,000 illegal immigrants have remained in the facility beyond the three-day legal limit. Senior CBP officials told reporters that more than 1,200 individuals are processed and waiting to be transferred, but Health and Human Services don’t have the facilities available.
Nearly 40 unaccompanied illegal immigrant children have been held in the facility for over 15 days, according to Acting Executive Officer for RGV Operational Programs Division Oscar Escamilla.
“Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, Raul Ortiz, told reporters [CBP] anticipates *more than 1 million encounters* of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in FY 2021 alone,” CBS News’ Nicole Sganga tweeted.