Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz mentioned this week that his brokers have encountered a whole bunch of 1000’s of migrants from greater than 140 international locations — in the identical week he instructed lawmakers that DHS doesn’t have “operational management” of the southern border.
“Up to now, in FY23, U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 900,590 people from 147 international locations,” Ortiz mentioned. FY 2023 started in October.
The highest 5 international locations for apprehensions had been Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Colombia and Guatemala.
Ortiz’s announcement got here as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) introduced that there have been 154,998 migrant encounters total on the southern border in February, down from the 166,010 encountered in February 2022 and down barely from the 156,770 encountered in January 2023. In February 2021, there have been 101,099 encounters and 36,687 encounters in February 2020.
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Whereas nonetheless comparatively excessive, the quantity mark the bottom encounters since January 2022 and the second lowest since February 2021. In its launch, CBP mentioned that 71.4% of encounters on the southern border in February had been single adults. Of these encountered, 46.8% had been expelled beneath the Title 42 order, which permits for the speedy expulsion of migrants as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
The administration has tied the lower to frame measures it rolled out in January. It unveiled a humanitarian parole program for Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua, which permits as much as 30,000 migrants a month to fly in. It additionally expanded Title 42 expulsions to incorporate these nationalities.
It has additionally proposed an asylum rule that may make migrants routinely ineligible for asylum if they’ve entered illegally and crossed by way of one other nation with out searching for refuge.
That can go into impact forward of the ending of Title 42 expulsions, which permit for the speedy expulsion of migrants as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. The order will finish on Might 11 together with the ending of the general public well being emergency, and has raised issues a couple of new spike in migration.
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Ortiz dealt one thing of a blow to the administration’s narratives on the border disaster when he addressed a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday. He instructed lawmakers that the border was not beneath operational management — conflicting with remarks made by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas final 12 months — whereas saying he disagreed with President Biden’s choice to finish border wall development.
BORDER PATROL CHIEF SAYS DHS DOESN’T HAVE OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF US BORDER
DHS, nonetheless, mentioned that the listening to “highlights the important work the Division of Homeland Safety does each day to implement our legal guidelines, safe our border, and fight cartels and smugglers” and pointed to testimony from Ortiz and different witnesses that confirmed “new packages, expertise, and investments are making an actual impression.”
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“Regardless of inheriting a dismantled immigration system and dealing with unprecedented migration that affects nations all through the Western Hemisphere, this administration has surged sources to the border, decreasing the variety of encounters between ports of entry, disrupting extra smuggling operations than ever earlier than, and interdicting extra medicine within the final two years than had been stopped within the 5 years prior,” a spokesperson said.