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150,000+ illegal immigrants arrested at US-Mexico border in Jan., 60,000+ released into US

Alejandro Mayorkas, nominee to be Secretary of Homeland Security. (Bill Clark/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)
February 18, 2022

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrested a significant number of illegal immigrants in January, nearly doubling the number of arrests compared to the same period last year. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also said more than 60,000 illegal immigrants were released into the United States last month alone.

According to CBP statistics released Friday, 153,941 illegal immigrants were arrested in January, which is almost double the 78,414 illegal immigrants arrested in January 2021, and more than quadruple the 36,585 arrested in January 2020.

Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin reported that DHS revealed in federal court documents that 62,573 illegal immigrants were also released into the U.S. in January. In a tweet posted on Wednesday, Melugin noted that January “is typically one of the slowest months at the border,” but “FY’22 continues to smash FY’21 number.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said his recent travels to the U.S.-Mexico border ended up being a “tough trip” that included heated exchanges with Border Patrol agents.

“It was a tough trip because we confronted a workforce … whose morale is struggling, is down and that’s a responsibility I have to address it, and we certainly met when we got back with a whole team about how we were going to address the challenges,” he said in an interview with Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, Fox News reported.

Mayorkas said the intense encounters included one border agent who turned his back on the secretary, another agent who told him that agents can’t do their jobs due to Biden administration policies, and a third who said Yuma was in better shape under former President Donald Trump because “everyone was doing their jobs.”

“I really appreciated the openness with which the agents expressed their views,” he said. “A couple of guys might have expressed them what I felt was unprofessionally — which was surprising to me because it’s something I’ve never seen in the Border Patrol in my… eight years of person-to-person exposure.”

“But the substance of what was communicated really called for action, and we’re jumping on it — but we’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said.

In January, leaked footage obtained by the Washington Examiner showed Border Patrol agents pushing back on agency leadership over Biden’s border policy as Mr. Mayorkas visited the southern border.

During a heated exchange between Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz and agents in Laredo, Texas, one agent blasted Border Patrol leadership for allowing illegal immigrants to be “dropped off in our communities.”

“For evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. That’s exactly what’s happening here,” the person said. “Good men are doing nothing. You’re allowing illegal aliens to be dropped off in our communities.”