Border officials are bracing for a record-breaking rise in daily border arrests this spring, according to a new report.
Two Department of Homeland Security officials told Reuters this week that the border could see as many as 9,000 migrant arrests per day in the coming months, a large jump from the average of 6,500 in July when arrests were at their peak.
One of the officials described the number as a “worst-case scenario,” as tens of thousands of migrants continue to cross the southern border — many being repeat crossers.
The dire warning comes after reports this week that the Biden administration has been secretly transporting migrants to airports in Texas to board flights to different cities across the country.
An independent journalist, Ali Bradley, also posted an 8-second video clip to Twitter on Wednesday that she said showed single adult migrants waiting inside the San Antonio airport.
“In just hours I saw more than 130 single adults dropped off,” she wrote.
Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas) tweeted in response to the Biden migrant flights stories, “I brought attention to these midnight drops months ago. Now we have evidence that taxpayer dollars are funding the mass release of criminals into the U.S. The Biden Admin continues to side with criminals, cartels, and illegal immigrants over law-abiding Americans. Disgraceful.”
And Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) said: “President Biden and VP Harris obviously want open borders! Illegal immigrants are openly walking the streets and being flown around the country. The #BidenBorderCrisis is jeopardizing our safety and national security!”
In December, less than half of the border encounters — 78,589 — led to an individual being processed for expulsion through Title 42, according to the data.
This week, US Customs and Border Protection revealed that it recorded 178,840 illegal immigrant encounters at the US-Mexico border in December, up 2 percent from the November number of 174,744. The agency added that it apprehended 135,040 unique individuals attempting to enter the US in December, a 5 percent increase over November.
CBP added that fewer than half of the total number of encounters — 78,589 — led to an individual being processed for expulsion through the Title 42 public health authority, and lawmakers have expressed concern over reports of dozens of adult migrants being transported from processing centers along the border to various US cities.
The US saw historic numbers of encounters at the southern border in 2021, with officials encountering a total of more than 2 million from January through December.
The administration has defended their response to the ongoing crisis, despite criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
A CBP spokesperson told Reuters that the agency is “ready to address any potential increase in migrant encounters,” adding that they will manage “a fair and orderly immigration system.”