Hundreds Reportedly Slipping Past Border Patrols on US-Mexico Frontier Daily Due to Lack of Agents
14:04 GMT 14.11.2021 (Updated: 13:26 GMT 06.08.2022)
US Customs and Border Protection reported stopping over 192,000 migrants from coming over the border from Mexico in September, with the total number of encounters for fiscal year 2021 topping 1.7 million people – surpassing the previous record of 1.64 million encounters in 2000.
Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector – the busiest corridor along the US-Mexico border for illegal migrant crossings – reported 1,909 encounters and 262 "gotaways" in a single 24-hour period on Friday.
A CBP source told Fox News that the 262 persons who managed to get away were spotted by cameras and sensor systems, but couldn’t be apprehended due to a lack of manpower, hence the "gotaways" classification.
The "gotaways" do not include potential illegal migrants who managed to slip past CBP agents and systems undetected.
For US border patrol agents, Fiscal Year 2022 began in November, and already the busy Rio Grande Valley sector has recorded over 65,000 encounters – a 161 percent jump since November 2020. The adjacent Del Rio sector reported an even more stark 236 percent increase in encounters, with an estimated 6,500 "gotaways" reported in Del Rio alone over the past two weeks.
CBP isn’t sure just how many migrants may have made it into the US without being spotted. Earlier this month, former President Donald Trump claimed that the number could be close to 12 million, saying that the number of those encountered should be multiplied by seven to get the number of those who made it in. Trump did not elaborate on the methodology.
13 November 2021, 18:34 GMT
Republicans including Trump have blamed President Joe Biden for the crisis at the southern border, suggesting that a series of executive actions Biden took immediately after stepping into office set the stage for the current migrant surge. Biden revoked nearly a dozen hardline Trump immigration policies, including the former president’s signature border wall and the ‘Remain in Mexico’ programme, which offered incentives for potential migrants to stay in Mexico while they waited for their asylum claims to be processed. Other decisions, including promises to “restore and expand” the US asylum system, and to potentially provide a “path to citizenship” to the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the US, have prompted hundreds of thousands of people from Mexico and Central America to make the perilous journey north in a bid to escape poverty, violence and crime.
Along with people, the migrant crisis has brought with it a spike in drugs and violent offenses. Last month, US media reported the CBP seizures of the pain medication Fentanyl shot up by thousands of percent in recent years, from just two pounds seized in 2012-2013 to over 7,2000 pounds seized over the first eight months of 2021. This week, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported that drug cartels have been committing brutal killings along the border to send "messages" to rival gangs.
12 November 2021, 09:42 GMT