(NewsNation Now) — U.S. authorities stopped migrants 212,672 times in July, the highest number in more than 20 years. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said 27% of those encounters were with migrants who had been stopped at least once in the previous year.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said the agents he represents are overwhelmed.
“The majority of the people [caught] are being released into the United States or they’re able to get away because they’re overwhelming our resources and creating artificial gaps in our coverage,” Judd said on The Donlon Report.
He said the administration should stiffen its implementation of Title 42. It is a health order the Trump administration used to justify immediately releasing anyone caught crossing the border back to Mexico. Biden has mostly applied it to single adults.
“Under Title 42, DHS continues to expel the majority of single adults, and, to the extent possible, families encountered at the Southwest Border,” an Aug. 2 statement from DHS said.
Town Hall reporter Julio Rosas has shared videos of overcrowded holding rooms.
“More people are going to come and they’re going to overwhelm the Border Patrol facilities during this time,” he said, pointing to the Biden administration’s more lenient immigration policies compared to Trump.
President Joe Biden jettisoned many of his predecessor’s hardline immigration policies, describing them as cruel or unwise, including one that made asylum-seekers wait in Mexican border cities for hearings in U.S. immigration court.
Biden also scrapped agreements with Central American nations for asylum-seekers from third countries to be sent there to have their claims heard, denying any prospect of settling in the United States.
The Biden administration has said it wants to focus on addressing the root causes of migration from Central America. Vice President Kamala Harris has led that effort, visiting Mexico and Guatemala to discuss how the U.S. can help while encouraging people not to come. But those are at best medium-term solutions, while at the U.S. border, the number of encounters between U.S. authorities and migrants keeps rising.
Judd believes the administration is not expelling enough migrants back across the border, although some human rights groups have cried foul at their attempts to enforce the rules. Some Central American Migrants are now being loaded onto planes to southern Mexico where they’re then bused to Guatemala.
He also says a “root cause” could be the migrants’ expectation that they will be released into the country even if they’re caught.
“If we reward people for violating our laws, they’re going to continue to come,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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