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United States Customs and Border Protect (CBP) reported a record number of illegal immigrants taken into custody at the United States-Mexico border in March — the most in nearly two decades, according to an official release.
That number includes 19,000 child migrants, the “largest monthly number ever recorded …,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
CBP released the numbers on Thursday, showing 172,331 people taken into custody for trying to jump the United States’ southern border. A chart from The Washington Post, posted to social media, shows just how shocking and unprecedented the number is compared to previous years. CBP, the outlet notes, had to “redo” the chart and “stretch the Y-axis” in order to effectively demonstrate the number of migrants.
NEW: CBP has published March numbers showing 172,331 taken into custody, the most in nearly two decades.
— Nick Miroff (@NickMiroff) April 8, 2021
The Washington Post also noted that the new numbers seem to contradict the Biden administration’s stated excuse that the border situation is no different now than in previous years.
“U.S. agents took more than 171,000 migrants into custody last month, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures that contradict Biden’s claims that his administration is facing an influx no different from previous years,” the Post said Thursday. “The rapid increase in border arrests and detentions — which has more than doubled since January — underscores the magnitude of the challenge facing an administration that has promised more humane and more welcoming immigration policies.”
The “child migrant crisis” that has plagued the Biden administration continued unabated in March, with nearly 19,000 new children intercepted and taken into U.S. border patrol custody, the single largest number ever recorded.
“Authorities encountered 18,890 unaccompanied children in March, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, well above previous highs of 11,475 in May 2019 and 10,620 in June 2014 reported by the Border Patrol, which began publishing numbers in 2009. Before then, Mexican adults made up most of those crossing the border,” the Tribune noted.
“March’s count was roughly double the 9,457 unaccompanied kids encountered by CBP in February and more than five times the tally of 3,221 in March 2020,” the outlet noted. “The huge increase in children traveling alone — some as young as 3 — and families has severely strained border holding facilities, which aren’t allowed to hold people for more than three days but often do. It’s left the government scrambling to find space and hire staff to care for children longer-term until they can be placed with sponsors.”
The number of child migrants taken into custody in March nearly matches predictions made just months ago by officials within the Biden administration. In February, the Domestic Policy Council warned the Biden administration that it would need to scale up its capacity to detain children on the border because unaccompanied minor border crossings were expected to jump by 45%.
An estimated 15,500 children are currently in U.S. custody, many being held for longer than the 72-hour limit put in place by an Obama administration-era court order.
On Thursday, The Daily Wire reported that Texas officials are now concerned about conditions in at least one facility converted to a temporary shelter for migrant children after receiving complaints of neglect and abuse — and even allegations of sexual assault — at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, which is housing hundreds of the unaccompanied minors.
“Earlier today, The Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services separately received tips that allege child abuse and neglect at the federal government’s Child and Migrant facility at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio behind me,” Texas Governor Greg Abbot said in a press conference Thursday morning. “These problems are a by-product of President Biden’s open border policies and the lack of planning for the fallout from those disastrous policies.”
Vice President Kamala Harris, who was placed in charge of handling the situation at the southern border, has yet to comment on the numbers and is not scheduled to pay a visit to the border this week. Instead, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will tour select areas on the border on Thursday, in an event closed to the press.