EAGLE PASS, Texas — A source within U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the Border Patrol has now apprehended more than 1 million migrants at the southwest sectors in Fiscal Year 2022. The benchmark was reportedly reached Thursday and signals the federal agency is again poised to break records.
The source says nearly 8,000 migrants were apprehended on Wednesday, breaking the single-day record for migrant encounters at the southwest border. Nearly 7 of 10 migrants apprehended since October 1 are single adults, according to the source. The source says limited removal pathways are contributing to overcrowding at Border Patrol processing facilities.
On multiple occasions last week, the source says the agency encountered large migrant groups numbering more than 200 in size. On Sunday, one single group of 187 crossed the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass and quickly surrendered.
The source says limited removal options are causing large amounts of released migrants. The only significant tool is the Trump era emergency Title 42 COVID-19 CDC order, which could quickly expel applicable migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador with minimal administrative processing.
Mexico, according to the source, will not accept family units with small children. In January 2021, the Biden Administration excluded unaccompanied migrant children from expulsion under the emergency order — which resulted in an unprecedented surge of the same cohort.
The order, according to the source, is expected to end soon and will eliminate the widely used pathway of removal. The source says part of the current surge is fueled by an increase in migrants from Cuba. In February, 16,550 Cubans were apprehended along the southwest border. The total represents a more than 300% spike compared to the same month in 2021.
The source says most of the Cuban migrants are released, as opposed to facing the court-ordered re-implementation of the Remain in Mexico program. The source says fewer than 100 of the 16,550 Cubans arrested in February were kept in that country per the policy.
Reaching the million-migrant mark has brought about another hardship on the agency, according to the source. With facility overcrowding and the need to transport, process, and provide humanitarian care to many people, human resources are overwhelmed. Agents are no longer capable of routine patrols in many areas, the source contends.
Certain areas of the border are not routinely patrolled and the federal agency relies on state and local law enforcement to detain migrants in western Texas.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.