WASHINGTON – The number of migrant encounters at the southern border of the United States has increased by 71% since February, new figures show, as the Biden administration questions how to handle the thousands of people, many unaccompanied children, seeking entry into the United States along the Mexican border. .
U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered more than 172,000 people attempting to enter the United States along the southwest border in March – up from 100,441 in February, according to analysis of figures from administration officials Biden, which was released on Thursday.
CBP also met 18,890 unaccompanied children from Central America, double the number of children seen in February. According to CBP statistics, 9,297 unaccompanied or single minors were seen in February.
A growing number of migrants have been heading for the border for months as the White House struggles to house them and find them family or sponsors. Republican and Democratic lawmakers have called the border situation a “crisis” and criticized President Joe Biden’s handling of the situation.
“No one should expect this to be resolved overnight,” an administration official told reporters on Wednesday when reviewing the latest apprehension statistics.
In March, 103,900 people were deported by CBP under Title 42, which allows customs and border protection to deport undocumented migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in detention centers. Administration officials said that number represented 60% of total meetings in March and that 28% of those had already been deported under Title 42.
Due to Title 42, individuals are deported to Mexico but some attempt to return to the United States, despite the policy, and are again deported from the country due to Title 42.
Although many migrants are turned away because of Title 42, the Biden administration has said it will accept children because it would be too dangerous to turn them down. Some families are accepted in the United States because Mexico does not accept certain families with young children.
Administration officials said some families were being treated because some areas of Mexico, particularly the state of Tamaulipas which borders Texas, have limited capacity to accommodate families with children under the age of 6. . migrants from the Northern Triangle, including El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, so migrants from other countries cannot be deported to Mexico, although they can still be deported in under Title 42.
Due to the growing number of migrant children, CBP’s jaillike facilities have become overcrowded. The Biden administration has opened a new Department of Health and Human Services facility to help quickly get children out of CBP custody while they examine family or sponsors, a process that could take weeks.
There have been 17,345 families evicted under Title 42, according to the data. However, 35,559 family units were processed under Title 8, meaning they violated immigration law by entering the country between entry points, but can make a credible claim out of fear of get asylum.
Of the migrants apprehended at the US-Mexico border, only 4,136 passed through the entry points, while 168,195 were apprehended by the border patrol between the entry points.
The first figures of the apprehensions were first reported by the Washington Post.
In the wake of this outbreak, Biden appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to work with the Northern Triangle countries and Mexico to help stem migration from Central America.
HHS has opened several new temporary influx facilities in recent weeks to help get children out of CBP custody. Administration officials said there was now a 30-day average of 507 children transferred out of CBP custody at the end of March, an increase from the previous average of 276.
Last month, during a press briefing, Biden attributed the increase in migrants as part of a cyclical increase in migrants coming to the United States in early spring.
However, the number of migrants arriving in the United States this year is much higher than in 2019, when the country experienced its last surge.
According to CBP statistics, 103,731 migrants were encountered in March 2019, nearly 70,000 fewer than the number of migrants encountered by CBP officials last month. As of March 2020, that number was 34,460, a low number attributed to the pandemic.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement last month: “We are about to meet more people on the southwest border than we have had in the past 20 years. . “
“This is not new,” Mayorkas continued in his statement. “We have had migratory surges before – in 2019, 2014 and before that as well.”
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