U.S. border agents encountered 164,973 migrants at the southern border in February, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data released on Tuesday. The number marked an over 60 percent increase from February 2021, which saw 101,099 encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border…While the winter months typically see a slowdown in attempted crossings, border agents encountered 153,941 migrants in January, the highest number recorded for that month since at least 2000. The Biden administration has used the Title 42 policy, first implemented during the Trump administration, to expel some migrants immediately upon entry over concerns of COVID spread.
We know that the Biden administration’s releases of unlawful migrants into the United States in January alone exceeded the total of ICE deportations throughout the entirety of last fiscal year. As the excerpt above notes, ‘Title 42’ removals have helped partially stem the tide amid the wider disaster — but for how much longer?
Top officials at the Department of Homeland Security have been planning to tell Mexico that a controversial Trump-era border policy enacted during the pandemic may come to an end as soon as April, which could lead to an increase of immigrants coming to the border and a strain on resources, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. The existence of such planning, which was revealed in a draft document, comes as the Biden administration deals with the fallout of two federal court orders on the border policy known as Title 42, which has been met with rebukes from Senate Democrats and immigrant advocates who have long argued it is illegal.
It was rare to find a government edict, mandate or restriction that progressives would vociferously oppose during the pandemic, but this was one of them. Their investment in pro-illegal immigration policies and incentives is that powerful. And because President Biden governs in fear of the element of his party that he vanquished in the 2020 primaries, it looks like one of the only remaining serious tools his team has allowed to be used to combat this crisis will be removed (in case you’re curious, the court-ordered resumption of Trump’s successful ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy has been used in a tiny trickle of cases at best, according to Fox’s Bill Melugin. Call it Potemkin compliance, not real compliance).
Border officials are reportedly bracing for the end of Title 42 ejections, which will make the illegal immigration magnet even stronger. Remember the unaccompanied minors crisis that drew harsh criticism of the Trump administration (it previously flared up in 2014 under Obama)? It’s very much still a live issue that is once again ballooning, this time with far less negative (if any) coverage. In 2020, the Trump administration was required by the courts to cease immediate ‘Title 42’ deportations of unaccompanied minors arriving illegally in the United States. This exemption remains in place under Biden:
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden said unaccompanied migrant children will continue to not be expelled from the United States under a border policy put in place by former President Donald Trump, in a bid to counter a court challenge to the current practice. “In effect, this means that unaccompanied noncitizen children will not be expelled from the United States under CDC’s order.” The Title 42 order was issued by the CDC in March 2020 at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic and allowed U.S. authorities to rapidly expel migrant families caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without a chance to seek refuge in the United States.
And, wouldn’t you know it? The number of unaccompanied minors being sent on the extremely dangerous journey to America’s Southern border has increased, per the federal government: “Encounters of unaccompanied children increased by 37 percent, with 12,011 encounters in February, compared with 8,760 in January. In February, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 520 per day, compared with an average of 295 per day in January.” Incentives matter. I’m sure the indignant photo ops from deeply caring Democrats, alongside breathless news reporting, will resume any minute now:
Meanwhile, Melugin continues to document what is happening at the Southern border — day in, and day out — as we approach a quarter-million known ‘got-aways’ (separate from encounters and apprehensions) over the last six months):