Since the start of the fiscal year, 861 criminals have been caught at the Texas border, according to a Border Patrol section chief. This tally includes 63 gang members and 92 sex offenders.
Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings reported the numbers on Twitter, also stating that “Border Patrol agents recently encountered 5 large groups of illegal aliens near the Rio Grande. In total, 539 individuals were taken into custody.” Within this group were 93 unaccompanied alien children (UAC). This fiscal year has seen a total of 18,000 UACs. The recent sharp increase in hopeful immigrants arriving at the southern border is believed to be in tune with the arrival of the Biden administration. The administration has already started rolling back numerous border policies set in place by former President Trump.
Believing that the new administration will be welcoming, thousands of illegal immigrants are now attempting to enter America. In a recent segment by ABC News, an unnamed migrant from Brazil cited violence in his country as the reason to arrive in the U.S. illegally. The migrant added Joe Biden’s promise to open up the U.S. borders inspired him to violate the U.S. immigration law. “Would you have tried to do this when Donald Trump was president?” the ABC News reporter asked. He responded “definitely not” and noted he “basically” crossed the U.S. border because Joe Biden was elected president. “The main thing was the violence in my country, and the second thing, I think, was Joe Biden,” the Brazilian man said. “You know, it’s like it lightened up my hope, you know what I mean?”
The Biden administration has received criticism from both sides of the aisle, illustrating the bipartisan nature of the border crisis. “The administration is doing the right thing because the law requires that we process unaccompanied minors,” Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) said in a statement on March 24. “However, we are in the middle of a pandemic and our systems are being overwhelmed.” In November of 2020, a federal court ruled that children could not be kept out under the use of a Title 42 travel ban. In March of 2020, the order had been implemented in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
By November, the border was met with a newly motivated group of illegal immigrants who US Customs and Border Protection officers could not turn away. Immigrants entered the system to claim asylum and housing facilities quickly overfilled. Senator Ted Cruz shared a video from an overcrowded migrant detention center, tweeting, “These are the Biden cages. (Faces blurred.) Thousands of kids, in the midst of a pandemic, crammed in at 1500% capacity.” A Biden staffer later blocked Cruz from recording within the facility. The Biden administration continues to face much backlash for a lack of transparency concerning facilities at the border.
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ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS