A record-shattering number of 12,000 migrants were apprehended at the US southern border on Tuesday, causing a surge of concern and renewed calls for action.
As the Biden administration grapples with the escalating border crisis, Democratic mayors from across the nation plead for $5 billion in federal aid to manage the flood of migrants redirected to their cities.
The total number of migrants encountered on Tuesday broke down into more than 10,000 instances involving Border Patrol agents and an additional 2,000+ at official ports of entry. A stark indicator of the escalating situation, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was reported to have over 22,000 migrants in custody as of Wednesday morning. This overwhelming number has caused strains on resources and infrastructure, leading to overflowing capacity in several sectors.
The 2022 fiscal year witnessed an unprecedented 2.4 million migrant encounters, a record high under the Biden administration. September 2022 alone accounted for 260,000 of these instances, marking the highest monthly rate ever recorded.
Arizona's Tucson Sector, a hotspot for migrant movement, reported a staggering 17,500 encounters in just one week. This marks the highest weekly total for that sector.
These numbers reflect the hopes of many migrants looking to settle in sanctuary cities like New York, believing these places offer better opportunities for them. However, the mayors of these cities, including NYC and Chicago, have voiced their concerns. They argue that their cities are becoming overwhelmed with the influx of migrants and are pressuring the Biden administration for additional aid.
The mayors have requested $5 billion in federal aid, a significant increase from the $1.5 billion the White House initially requested from Congress. The plea for financial help has led to different responses from the two main political parties.
Republicans are advocating for restrictions to the asylum/parole systems that currently allow migrants to enter the country freely, while Democrats want to tie the aid to guaranteed amnesty for a certain number of illegal immigrants.
In response to these proposals, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated:
"We’ve presented proposals that address the situation, that provide real practical solutions and also do not do violence to our fundamental values. We are a country of refugees. We do have asylum laws. We do have refugee laws. We abide by our international obligations that are longstanding. And so that is my response to that. Some of the proposals are reasonable and worthy of discussion. Others are, frankly, not."
As the crisis continues, law enforcement officers have been working overtime and with limited resources to manage the increasing flow of migrants across the US border.
High-speed chases between law enforcement and smuggler vehicles have become a dangerous, sometimes deadly, reality. In Texas, eight people were recently killed in a police chase involving a suspected smuggler vehicle.
Despite the dangers and difficulties, Texas Governor Abbott has been leading efforts to bus migrants from the border to Democrat-led sanctuary cities.
Over the past few months, hundreds of thousands of migrants have been bused to cities like NYC and Chicago. As a result, these cities struggle to provide shelter, food, healthcare, and education services for the sudden influx of migrants.