Last Thursday, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan and Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney held a phone briefing with members of the media. The full transcript is publicly available, courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security. On the call, McAleenan referred to the present overwhelming influx of migrant aliens as placing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in a situation that is "beyond sustainable capacity."
The Center for Immigration Studies has a helpful summary of the staggering — and truly tragic, from a humanitarian perspective — key takeaways of the McAleenan/Mulvaney phone call:
- Over the past 21 days, an average of over 4,500 people have crossed our border illegally or arrived at ports of entry without documents. In May of 2017, that number was less than 700 a day. The month of May is on pace to be the highest month in crossings in over 12 years and will significantly surpass the record 109,000 in April.
- U.S. immigration authorities now have over 80,000 people in custody, a record level that is beyond sustainable capacity with current resources. Over 7,500 single adults are in custody at the border and Immigration and Customs Enforcement is holding over 50,000.
- Over 2,350 unaccompanied children – the highest level ever – are currently in custody waiting for days for placements in border stations that cannot provide appropriate conditions for them because Health and Human Services is out of bed space and Congress has failed to act on the administration's emergency supplemental request for more than four weeks.
- A five- and a ten-month old drowned in a river transiting Mexico to the United States in the last few days.
- More than 75,000 families have already transited through Mexico to the Southwest border this month alone.
- More than 4,000 foreign nationals appeared at the border this year with children that they fraudulently claimed were their own, a number that is increasing.
- At any given moment, up to 100,000 migrants are transiting Mexico on their way to the U.S. border.
CBP has often used extraordinarily blunt language, of late, in describing the present crisis at our southern border. In a press release from last week announcing a staggering number of Memorial Day apprehensions for the CBP-designated El Paso Sector, for example, CBP referred to the "influx of illegal aliens entering our country [who have] no respect for our immigration laws." As The Daily Wire previously reported, furthermore, CBP responded to the publication earlier last month of its monthly apprehension numbers for the month of April by tweeting about the "unprecedented" and "unsustainable" influx: "#CBP is experiencing an unprecedented and unsustainable situation at the Southwest border. In April, CBP apprehended or deemed inadmissible 109,144 individuals along the SWB."
A month prior, CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert E. Perez referred to the migrant alien onslaught as presenting a "system-wide emergency." "We are currently experiencing a system-wide emergency in our processing and holding facilities," Perez stated at the time of the release of CBP's apprehension data for the month of March.