Border officials encountered around 172,000 illegal immigrants at the border in March, a 71% increase compared to February.
Of the 172,000 illegals encountered, the majority were single adults. 18,890 included unaccompanied children, a 100% increase compared to February.
“CBP has experienced an increase in encounters and arrests,” said Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Troy Miller. “This is not new. Encounters have continued to increase since April 2020, and our past experiences have helped us be better prepared for the challenges we face this year. We are committed to balancing the need to maintain border security, care for those in our custody, and keep the American people and our workforce safe.”
The Biden administration has blamed Trump for the current border crisis.
“We’re continuing to dig out of the hole left by the previous administration on immigration,” said an administration official while on a call with reporters.
The officials are blaming a “lack of preparedness” from the Department of Health and Human Services, claiming that the Trump administration did not order additional beds until January 15th, five days before Biden took office. Cutting funding for the Northern Triangle and ending asylum problems were also brought up as reasons why the Trump administration is to blame.
“He dismantled all the elements that exist to deal with what had been a problem and continued to be a problem for a long time,” said Biden at a press conference last month. “He, in fact, shut down the number of beds available. He did not fund HHS to get people to get the children out of those Border Patrol facilities where they should not be and not supposed to be more than a few days — a little while. But he dismantled all of that.”
Republicans point to low numbers last year as well as mechanisms put in place to deal with surges that have been undone.
“They cannot even handle the surge of migrants, they are taking over military bases, the Dallas convention center, and the people on the ground are telling you they can’t control it, it has got to stop,” said Rep. Steve Scalise on “Fox and Friends.” “Joe Biden needs to reverse this deadly devastating policy.”