As the spike in migrant families crossing the border illegally grows, the Biden administration is planning to turn loose about 400 families a day by mid-June, according to a new report.
“The number of individuals enrolled in the ICE Alternatives to Detention program has increased from 50 per day to 200 per day in March 2021,” the report quotes the ICE document as saying.
“Within 90 days, the enrollment is projected to double to 400 per day. It is because of this unusual and compelling urgency that the Government requires the [emergency family reception sites] to meet the critical mission requirements of housing, feeding, transporting, and providing medical attention to these thousands of asylum-seeking families along the southwest border.”
EXCLUSIVE: Biden administration to release 400 migrant families per day by June, up from 50 in January https://t.co/zWnvtmhe6s
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) April 17, 2021
The report said because of the way ICE keeps its data, “the total number of migrants released is at least two times higher than the 400 figure because each family has at least two people.”
“DHS is seeing an increase in irregular migrant flows to the southwest border of the United States, including greater numbers of family units and unaccompanied children,” the ICE document said. “The projected encounters for fiscal year (FY) 2021 are expected to be the highest number observed in over 20 years.”
Overall, Department of Homeland Security officials expects somewhere between 500,000 and 800,000 illegal immigrants to arrive in family groups during the current federal fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, according to The Washington Post. The Post said the estimate came from government data.
Border Patrol retiree Roy Villareal, who spent 33 years with the agency, said 40 percent of those taken into Customs and Border Protection custody now are children and families, but said they eat up 60 to 70 percent of agents’ time due in part to paperwork.
“Border security drops tremendously because of this,” he said, adding that drug traffickers will seek to push family groups in one part of the border to smuggle drugs in another.
The Post said that currently, based on data it reviewed, between 10 and 20 percent of migrant families are being sent back after crossing into the U.S. are given paperwork to appear in court at a later date.
However, the Post said even that rule is not always being followed.
“[T]he extraordinary volume of people arriving to South Texas has often left U.S. agents too overwhelmed to complete the paperwork. They have started handing some families blank forms and asking them to report to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement later,” the Post reported.
Migrant families will be held at hotels in the Phoenix area in response to a growing number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said Friday.- https://t.co/YmiiOGXZFd pic.twitter.com/sycAAjbxCd
— Colectivo de UCC Latinx Ministries (@LatinxUCC) April 13, 2021
This month, ICE began its new policy of putting up 1,200 family members in hotels under an $87 million contract with a nonprofit group called Endeavors.
According to the Post, ICE plans to release the hotel guests after 72 hours after giving them food, Covid-19 tests, clothing and connections with groups that can find them shelter.
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