Border Patrol agents encountered 129.7% more people at the southern border this year than last, according to new data published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The greatest number of encounters was in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and the greatest percentage increase was in Yuma, Arizona.
Illegal border crossings have skyrocketed since President Joe Biden took office in January.
Border officials reported that most encounters with migrants illegally entering the U.S. occurred in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, according to Customs and Border Protection data.
Immigration officials encountered 441,855 migrants in the Rio Grande Valley sector between January and August 2021, according to CBP data. More than 1.3 million migrants have been encountered at the southern border since January, according to CBP.
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas invited President Joe Biden to witness the migrant crisis for what would be his first trip to the southern border as president.
Thousands of migrants resorted to staying in dangerous tent cities in Mexican border towns after the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) were implemented in 2019 and the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s efforts to repeal the policy, Catholic Charities Executive Director Norma Pimentel said in an op-ed Monday for The Washington Post.
Pimentel asked Biden to visit the Rio Grande Valley and negotiate with Mexican officials to secure more humane conditions for the migrants. She appealed to the president’s Catholic faith to provide humanitarian assistance to the migrants.
Over the past 10 months, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents have arrested 8,691 known criminals who have entered the U.S. illegally through the southern border. Combined, they have committed 12,685 crimes in the U.S., according to federal data.
Because Border Patrol agents do not have access to criminal records from other countries, they rely on information reported in the National Crime Information Center database. Many individuals arrested by Border Patrol are registered sex offenders who were previously convicted and served time in U.S. prisons. They were released and deported only to reenter the U.S. again illegally this year.
Border officials encountered an estimated 210,000 migrants at the southern border in July, the highest monthly total since 2000, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Preliminary government data reportedly shows border officials encountered some 19,000 unaccompanied migrant minors, a record high from previous months including just over 18,800 in March, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Border and Immigration Policy David Shahoulian said, the AP reported.
The Texas border city of Laredo has sued the Biden administration, hoping to halt its policy of transferring several hundred people a day into the city who have illegally entered the U.S. through two Texas Border Patrol sectors: Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio.
Assistant City Attorney Alyssa Castillon sued the Department of Homeland Security and its secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, Customs and Border Protection and its senior official, Troy Miller, and Border Patrol chief Rodney S. Scott. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Border Patrol intends to double the number of people it brings from the Rio Grande Valley sector, which has seen the largest surge of illegal border crossings in the past few months. Laredo officials estimate that every day, between three and six buses of detained refugees, immigrants and migrants (RIMs) are already being transported to Laredo from the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio sectors, totaling between 250 and 350 people a day.
Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings reported that his sector at the Texas-Mexico border alone took into custody more than 15,000 illegal immigrants in one week, the most so far this year.
In the same sector, agents saw a 900% increase in those being detained who tested positive for the coronavirus.