““The challenges at our border are compounding by the minute,’ Representative Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, said this month. Gonzales’ 23rd Congressional District spans 820 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, more than any congressional district, ImmigrationReform.com reported.”
According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) figures cited by Breitbart News, 1,560 illegal border crossers were released into the U.S. interior during the first week of February, some without COVID tests.
“Those being reprocessed south of our border by international organizations, who will determine their eligibility, will soon be released into U.S. communities as they get added to the 1,000,000+ immigration court backlog,” stated Rep. John Katko, ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee. “As more migrants catch wind of the reimplementation of ‘catch and release,’ the surge on our border will be unimaginable,” the New York Republican said.ImmigrationReform.com
CBS News reported that “U.S. shelters for migrant children near maximum capacity as border crossings increase.”
Due to the steady increase in border crossings by unaccompanied children, nearly 90% of the 8,000 available beds administered by the federal agency charged with housing these minors are being occupied. On Monday, the number of children housed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), reached 7,100, leaving fewer than 900 empty beds.
The uptick has alarmed government officials, shelter operators and advocates who are worried about their ability to address one of their chief shared concerns: children spending prolonged periods of time in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities, most of which were designed to hold migrant adults.
“We absolutely are concerned,” an HHS official who requested anonymity told CBS News. “We are assessing all of our options on the table to make sure we have the capacity to house kids and take care of them and make sure they’re not backed up in CBP custody.”CBS News
The Washington Post is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to “prepare for border surges now.”
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told ICE that cost is no issue, and to cancel contracts and sign new ones without worry about the price tag, according to the email from ICE Chief of Staff Timothy Perry. Mr. Mayorkas said he is also pondering diverting money from the border wall “to backfill budgets later,” the email said.The Washington Post
The Post wrote that “The tone of the Feb. 12 email contrasts with the public stance of the Biden administration, which has insisted that the borders aren’t open and people will be turned away.