U.S. Border Patrol agents said they have been forced to release dozens of migrant families that crossed the border illegally because their holding centers have been overwhelmed by the recent flood of migrants.
Mark Morgan, former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said agents working in the southern border’s busiest region recently stopped returning illegal immigrant families to Mexico because the Mexican government refused to take them back.
“Mexico is raising the flag, saying, ‘Hey, this is a capacity issue. The numbers are just too great,'” said Morgan, adding that the Border Patrol averaged 3,000 apprehensions per day during a three-week stretch in January. “We haven’t seen numbers like that since sometime in 2019.”
Immigration experts warned that the southern border would see a flood of illegal immigration with President Joe Biden in the White House, and Morgan said that is exactly what has happened.
“The numbers are going up for one reason: because of the Biden effect,” Tom Homan, the former acting director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the Washington Examiner last month.
Over the past eight months, the number of attempted illegal entries has jumped from 17,000 in April to 70,000 in November.
One of the first executive actions Biden took when he entered the White House was to re-implement the catch-and-release policy, which former President Donald Trump had eliminated in favor of immediate deportations and the “Remain in Mexico” policy for those demonstrating a credible claim during the asylum process.
Under Biden’s policy, immigration officials must release illegal immigrants seeking asylum after 72 hours while they await a court hearing.
“We will be full-on catch-release,” Homan told the Washington Examiner.
“The Border Patrol facilities will be overwhelmed in two or three days,” he continued. “And they’ll have to release them at bus stations and shelters locally, along the southwest border just like we were during the crisis in 2019.”