Border Patrol agents in the nation’s two busiest sectors of the U.S.-Mexico boundary apprehended an average of nearly 900 migrant families per day in February.
U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the El Paso and Rio Grande Valley Sectors apprehended an average of 891 Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) per day in February. This represents an increase of more than 570 percent over last February’s 132 daily average, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Southwest Border Migration Report released last week.
“Smugglers and traffickers have caught on that the outdated laws, lack of resources, and bad court decisions effectively give them a ‘free ticket’ into America,” U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen told the House Homeland Security Committee last week. “Make no mistake: the problem is getting worse.”
Neilsen said that a disturbing trend in the overwhelming number of migrant families crossing the border is the increasing number of fraudulent family claims. She testified that her agency witnessed a 620 percent increase in families, or those posing as families, who are apprehended at the U.S. border with Mexico.
She said her agents have observed “recycling rings, where innocent young people are used multiple times to help aliens gain illegal entry. As a nation, we simply cannot stand for this.”
During an interview last month on Breitbart News Sunday, Breitbart News Border/Cartel Chronicles Director Brandon Darby said this is a direct consequence of U.S. laws that allow migrants arriving at the U.S. border with a child to remain in the country.
“If you come with a child you cannot be deported — by child we mean anybody under the age of 18,” Darby explained. This is basically telling human traffickers to attach a child to your migrant caravan and say that everybody that’s with that child is a family member, and you get in.”
“All they have to do is kidnap a baby and they get to live in the United States now,” he stated. “That’s all they have to do, is show up with a kidnapped baby. We have no way to prove it — we’re not DNA testing, we have no way to prove it.”
The El Paso and Rio Grande Valley Sectors apprehended nearly 25,000 of the more than 36,000 migrant families apprehended in the nine southwest Border Patrol sectors in February. This represents nearly 70 percent of all migrant family apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border last month.
During a press conference last week, Border Patrol Chief of Operations Brian Hastings told reporters current U.S. laws prevent any consequence for the migrant families crossing our border. “Today, 70 percent of all of those we are arresting are from the (Central American) northern triangle — Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras,” Hastings stated.
“Without being able to deliver a consequence to these individuals for crossing our border, the Border Patrol has no reason to expect that this trend will decrease — in fact, we believe it will increase,” he predicted. “It’s well known at this time that immigrants with children will not be detained during the immigration proceedings. The word of mouth and social media quickly gets back to those in the northern triangle countries that ‘If you bring a child, you’ll be successful.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan told reporters that his agency is putting additional resources and processing centers in place to help “manage” the increased flow of family migrants.
“The fact is that these solutions are temporary and this situation is not sustainable,” the commissioner stated.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face