The night before President Biden’s inauguration, 102 people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador walked to a place where the border wall ends in Arizona, crossed into the US illegally, and gave themselves up.
It’s one of thousands of signs that a border crisis is imminent, according to Border officials who spoke with me for Full Measure.
Authorities say if the trend continues— and they think it will— the flow of illegal immgrants this year will surpass 2018, 2019, and 2020 combined.
And due to changes already made under the Biden administraiton, instead of being expelled, most of the illegal immigrants will be escorted a border community and released in the U.S. to await a court date that may be years away.
At the end of 2018, 2,000 immigrants a day were being intercepted at the Southern border, security concerns and a humanitarian crisis.
On Jan. 25, 2019, the Trump administration invoked “Migrant Protection Protocols” forcing those seeking asylum to wait in Mexico.
Then on March 21, 2020, the Trump administration invoked “Title 42”— an emergency health order — that let border officials immediately turn back illegal immigrants because of Covid-19.
The moves had a dramatic impact.
By May of 2020, 90% of illegal immigrants caught at the Southwest border were being expelled.* And the number intercepted dropped from about a million (977,509) in 2019 to roughly half that in 2020 (457,437).
But all of that’s changed now that the Biden Administration is erasing the Trump initiatives.
In Cochise County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Sergeant Tim Wiliams says, “Normally we’d see between three to 400 a month come across our corridor that we work. We’re currently seeing anywhere, 2,500 to 2,800 come across every month trying to make it North. It's a free ticket to the United States at this point.”
Unfortunately, say officials, many are not hardworking immigrants seeking a better life.
In late January, an emergency lookout was issued through the El Paso, Texas sector for three Russians “known to have been traveling with a confirmed terrorist.” No word on whether they were picked up.
The Biden Administration says there’s no crisis and it’s merely fixing the immigration system that President Trump broke.
"I think there is a challenge at the border that we are managing, and we have our resources dedicated to managing it,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.