Illegal Border Crossings Continue to Spike, as Do COVID Cases

Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings reported that his sector at the Texas-Mexico border alone took into custody more than 15,000 illegal immigrants in one week, the most so far this year.

In the same sector, agents saw a 900% increase in those being detained who tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Texas Starts Jailing Illegal Aliens on State Charges of Trespassing

Texas authorities announced on Thursday that state law enforcement has begun the process of arresting and jailing illegal aliens who cross the border on state trespassing charges, in a new effort to crack down on illegal immigration where the federal government is failing to do so, ABC News reports.

This latest step follows up on the promises of Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas), who first vowed in June to step up enforcement of immigration laws in the state in direct response to the Biden Administration’s open-borders approach. Abbott also declared that the state would continue building the border wall that was started by President Donald Trump, on which Biden had halted construction after taking power.

The arrested illegals are being detained at a state prison in the city of Dilley, roughly 100 miles north of the border. All of the illegals who have been arrested thus far are single adult men, who are the most likely to be a threat to society. The prison in question is capable of holding up to 950 illegals, but Abbott said in a visit to the border on Saturday that “the state jail commission has worked out a way to jail far more people than are currently being jailed.”

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CBP Reports Nearly 190,000 Illegal Border Crossers Came into the U.S. from Mexico in June

Border officials encountered nearly 190,000 migrants at the southern border in June, a 5% increase over May’s numbers, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Friday.

There was a significant increase in the number of re-encounters in June, with 34% of individuals having at least one prior encounter in the past 12 months, compared to the average one-year re-encounter rate of 14% for Fiscal Years 2014-2019, the agency said in a statement.

“The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a larger-than-usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts,” CBP said. “Which means that total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border.”

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Border Patrol’s Fentanyl Seizures Increase by 4,000 Percent Amid Crisis, Officials Say

Twitter post that states "Officers at #CBPLaredo remain at the forefront of border security operations to protect the public of lethal narcotics, as seen in this seizure of fentanyl worth $384K."

Border officials seized 4,000% more fentanyl in 2021 than in 2018 as the border crisis continues, NBC News reported Tuesday.

Cartels have taken advantage of increased federal resources allocated for migrant encounters to smuggle fentanyl into the U.S. between ports of entry, according to NBC News. Border officials have found 41 pounds of fentanyl in fiscal year 2021, compared with nine pounds in 2020, two pounds in 2019 and one pound in 2018.

“For the first time, we’re starting to see these tactics where fentanyl is being smuggled between ports of entry,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez said, NBC News reported. “Cartels are very creative. They find ways to intimidate migrants and find ways to illegally have them transport that narcotic into the United States.”

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Border Patrol Chief to Step Down

Rodney Scott

Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott will step down after more than 29 years with Customs and Border Protection, he announced Wednesday.

Scott will remain in his position for around 60 days as the agency transitions, he said in a private Facebook post. A spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shared a screenshot of Scott’s Facebook message with the Daily Caller News Foundation and said the agency would make a formal announcement.

“I received my 3R letter today. For those not familiar, that is Federal government slang for the letter issued to (senior executive staff) level employees informing them of a directed reassignment,” Scott said in the post. “The recipient has 3 options – relocate, resign or retire. No rationale or reason is required, nor is it disciplinary.”

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As Illegal Migration Explodes, Concerns Grow U.S. Tax Dollars May Be Aiding Trafficking

Woman with $100 bills spread open in hands

On a recent congressional trip to the Darién Gap in Panama, where tens of thousands of migrants begin their trek to the U.S. southern border, U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., noted something remarkable.

Western Union outlets were stationed near migrant camps on either side of the gap, making it easy for relatives of migrants who are already in the United States to wire funds. Security officials say some of those funds are then used to pay off smugglers and members of cartels at various points along the migrants’ trip to America.

Tiffany said he fears the COVID-19 stimulus payments approved by Congress may be driving some of the flow of money.

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Biden Admin to Close ICE Detention Centers Where Officials Allegedly Performed Unnecessary Hysterectomies and Used Excessive Force Against Detainees

The Biden administration plans to close two Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers after allegations of medical and physical abuse against detainees, CNN reported Thursday.

A doctor allegedly performed unauthorized hysterectomies and neglected other detainees at the privately operated Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia, while it is alleged that officials exercised excessive use of force against peaceful detainees at the C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detention Center in Bristol County, Massachusetts, both facilities are expected to close, according to CNN.

“We have an obligation to make lasting improvements to our civil immigration detention system,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement, CNN reported. “This marks an important first step to realizing that goal.”

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Biden Admin Diverts $2 Billion from Healthcare Programs to Help Illegal Migrant Children

Temporary soft sided facilities are utilized to process noncitizen individuals, noncitizen families and noncitizen unaccompanied children as part of the ongoing response to the current border security and humanitarian effort along the Southwest Border in Donna, Texas, May 4, 2021.

The Biden administration redirected over $2 billion allocated for other health initiatives to care for unaccompanied migrant minors, Politico reported Saturday.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will receive $850 million meant for the federal emergency medical fund depleted by COVID-19 and another $850 million set aside for COVID-19 testing, according to three people familiar with the matter, Politico reported. HHS struggled to open and staff several emergency intake facilities to move over 20,000 migrant children out of border patrol facilities.

“They’ve been in a situation of needing to very rapidly expand capacity, and emergency capacity is much more expensive,” Mark Greenberg, Migration Policy Institute senior fellow and former leader of the Obama administration’s HHS administration for children and families, told Politico. “You can’t just say there’s going to be a waiting list or we’re going to shut off intake. There’s literally not a choice.”

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Border Patrol Announces Seizure of $7 Million Worth of Counterfeit Apple Airpods

Person holding latest Apple Airpods

U.S. Customs and Border Protection this week announced that it had discovered and seized tens of thousands of counterfeit Apple Airpods, a bust the agency said was likely worth around $7 million.

CBP officials earlier this month “inspected three large shipments from China and found what appeared to be tens of thousands of earbuds in violation of Apple’s protected configurations,” the agency said in a press release.

“Each shipment contained 12,000 fake AirPods, for a total of 36,000,” the press release stated. “Although each package had a declared value of $5,280, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for all the AirPods would have been $7.16 million had they been genuine.” The bogus products were bound for a Kentucky address.

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Biden Admin Scrambling to Figure out How Migrant Children Were Left on Buses Overnight Outside Federal Facility

Migrant children at border

Biden administration officials are investigating reports of unaccompanied migrant minors spending nights on buses outside a federal holding facility in Dallas, Texas, NBC News reported Thursday.

Migrant children are sleeping, eating and using the restroom on buses outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, sometimes for days, according to NBC News.

“This is completely unacceptable,” Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said, NBC News reported. “We’re quickly investigating this to get to the bottom of what happened, and we’ll work to make sure this never happens again. The safety and well-being of the children is our priority.”

A 15-year-old migrant, Joel, made the journey from Honduras to reunite with his mother and was left on a bus from Saturday until the bus departed on its way to Seattle, Washington, on Wednesday, NBC News reported. His mother, Doris, said an HHS employee told them Joel would arrive Monday despite the bus remaining in Dallas.

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Commentary: Stopping the Crisis at the Border

"Open the border" tent with baby stroller in front of other tents.

I recently traveled to the southern border with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to see the unfolding crisis firsthand and come up with solutions. The surge and resulting chaos is well documented. 

Customs and Border Protection reported more than 172,000 total encounters at the border in March, up 70% from February and more than five times the March 2020 numbers. This includes more than 53,000 migrant family members, a more than 1,000% increase from March 2020; nearly 100,000 single adult migrants, an increase of 275% versus last year; and nearly 19,000 unaccompanied children, double the amount that crossed our border in February and a nearly 500% increase from March 2020.

The reason for the crisis is clear. The Biden administration’s policy changes encouraged families and unaccompanied children, mostly from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, to come to our southern border and apply for asylum. Traffickers are telling families they can come into the U.S. if they pay to make the treacherous trip north, then apply for asylum at the border. Under the Biden policies, there is a lot of truth to that.  

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Commentary: Stopping the Crisis at the Border

"Open the border" tent with baby stroller in front of other tents.

I recently traveled to the southern border with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to see the unfolding crisis firsthand and come up with solutions. The surge and resulting chaos is well documented. 

Customs and Border Protection reported more than 172,000 total encounters at the border in March, up 70% from February and more than five times the March 2020 numbers. This includes more than 53,000 migrant family members, a more than 1,000% increase from March 2020; nearly 100,000 single adult migrants, an increase of 275% versus last year; and nearly 19,000 unaccompanied children, double the amount that crossed our border in February and a nearly 500% increase from March 2020.

The reason for the crisis is clear. The Biden administration’s policy changes encouraged families and unaccompanied children, mostly from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, to come to our southern border and apply for asylum. Traffickers are telling families they can come into the U.S. if they pay to make the treacherous trip north, then apply for asylum at the border. Under the Biden policies, there is a lot of truth to that.  

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Biden Admin Considers Building More Border Wall Where ‘Gaps’ Exist: Report

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told employees he’s considering building more sections of the border wall to fill in “gaps,” The Washington Times reported Monday.

President Joe Biden stopped federal funding to the southern border wall, though Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials reportedly asked Mayorkas last week what his plans for the wall are, according to the Times. Biden issued a Jan. 20 executive order ceasing all construction on the southern border wall.

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Around 1,000 Illegal Migrants Evading Overwhelmed Border Officials Daily

Border Patrol sign.

Around 1,000 illegal migrants are entering the interior of the U.S. daily without overwhelmed border officials able to gather identifying information or take them into custody, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials are occupied processing unaccompanied migrant minors and family units while attempting to control the number of male adults who enter the U.S., leading to some illegal migrants entering the U.S. unknowingly, according to three CBP officials who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter, the Post reported. The number of migrants who are able to evade officials, known as “got aways,” has increased substantially in recent weeks, two of the officials told the Post.

A “got away” is someone who crosses the border illegally, is not apprehended and has not been turned back, according to CBP. The agency spent over $1 billion in the last 20 years on surveillance technology to monitor for illegal crossings, though officials haven’t always able to apprehend illegal migrants.

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Border Patrol Holding Thousands of Migrant Children Past The Legal Limit, Some Detained Longer Than 10 Days

Customs and Border Protection has held at least 800 unaccompanied migrant minors in custody for over 10 days, Axios reported

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can legally hold unaccompanied minors for 72 hours, though over 3,300 were in custody over the limit as of Saturday, according to an internal Department of Homeland Security document obtained by Axios. Over 2,200 unaccompanied minors were held for more than five days and around 820 were in custody for over 10 days.

The number of unaccompanied minors in CBP custody for over 10 days has quadrupled in the last week, Axios reported. Only around 180 unaccompanied minors were in CBP custody for over 10 days as of last Monday.

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Child Migration Quickly Overwhelming Biden Administration’s Resources, Internal Documents Show

The number of child migrants crossing the United States’ southern border is quickly exceeding the federal government’s ability to hold them, internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show.

In the final week of February, Border Patrol referred an average of 321 children a day to HHS custody, according to Axios, which first reported the documents’ findings. Child migrant crossings averaged 203 per day in late January, and just 47 a day during the first week of 2021.

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Over 100 Illegal Immigrants Released by Border Patrol in Texas Have Tested Positive for COVID-19 Since January 25

Since January 25, 108 illegal immigrants released into Texas by Border Patrol have reportedly tested positive for Covid-19. According to a spokesperson for Brownsville, a town on the Texas border, that number represents 6.3 percent of those who have taken the test.  The migrants are tested at the city’s main bus station, where they are being released by the Border Patrol.

According to NBC News, several of the illegal immigrants “plan to travel to dozens of cities throughout the country” despite testing positive for the coronavirus.

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More Than 700 Kids Currently Detained in Border Patrol Custody, Report Shows

More than 700 migrant children are currently detained in Customs and Border Patrol facilities, according to an internal government report.

At least 200 children had been held in the facilities for over 48 hours and nine had been held more than 72 hours, according to an internal Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) report dated Feb. 21, Axios reported. The CBP is not allowed to hold children more than 72 hours, according to a previous agreement.

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Over $14 Million Worth of Drugs, Firearms and a Man Wanted for Murder Detained by Border Officials in February

Around $14.3 million worth of narcotics and several weapons have been seized since the start of February at an Arizona port where officials also arrested a man wanted for murder, Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday.

Officials seized 440 pounds of methamphetamine, 385,000 tablets of fentanyl, 84 pounds of heroin and almost 13 pounds of cocaine in around 25 instances since Feb. 1, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). A 28-year-old man wanted for murder in Las Vegas was arrested while in possession of an AR-15 assault rifle, a handgun and over 300 rounds of ammunition.

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Border Patrol Arrests Nearly 300 Illegal Immigrants After Searching Stash Houses, Stopping Smuggling Attempts

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials and local law enforcement in Texas arrested 294 suspected illegal immigrants within 18 hours, the Department of Homeland Security announced last week.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents intercepted smuggling attempts and raided stash houses in four separate incidents in Laredo, Texas, on Oct. 13, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Of those detained, 90 were from countries other than Mexico.

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Apprehensions at Southern Border Decreased by Nearly Half from Last Year 2019, CBP Says

Nearly half as many individuals were apprehended at the southern border during fiscal year 2020 as in the previous year, Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday.

A total of 400,651 migrants were apprehended between ports of entry at the southern border in fiscal year 2020, which ended with September, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced. In the fiscal year 2019, just over 851,500 individuals were apprehended.

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