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Politics

Border Patrol: US approaching 1 million migrant encounters in 6 months

Mar 29, 2022

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					<p class=Alex Peebles

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Citing comments made by Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz at a border security conference, Fox News reported the United States is “two or three days” away from recording 1 million migrant encounters since Fiscal Year 2022 began last October. According to Ortiz, border agents have encountered migrants from 157 different countries. This includes countries that have traditionally not sent such large numbers of people to the U.S., including Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Colombia.

According to Fox News, there were over 830,000 encounters five months into FY 2022, with almost 165,000 of those coming in February alone. While March’s numbers haven’t been released, Fox reported March’s numbers are expected to outpace February’s. On Tuesday, Ortiz said about 7,000 migrants are being stopped crossing the border daily from Mexico. The daily average in February was 5,900.

At Tuesday’s conference, Ortiz reportedly discussed a staffing shortage within the Border Patrol, partially because “every sector is busier than they were back in ’21.” There were 1.7 million migrant encounters involving Border Patrol agents in Fiscal Year 2021, according to the Fox report. The  majority of those encounters came in the second half of the year, meaning if that trend holds, the U.S. is on pace for 2 million encounters for FY 2022.

Ortiz’s comments came as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to decide this week whether to extend Title 42. The 1944 public health law has been used since the COVID-19 pandemic began to limit the spread of the virus. 1.7 million migrants have been expelled without a chance for asylum under Title 42 during the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases have generally declined in the U.S. in recent months, and major corridors for border crossings are not exceptions. These developments have led to some to question whether or not Title 42 is still necessary. Examples of lower positivity rates include:

  • In California, just 1.9% of migrants tested positive the first two weeks of March.
  • In Pima County, Arizona, the seven-day positivity rate among migrants didn’t exceed 1.3% in early March.
  • At the Regional Center for Border Health near Yuma, Arizona, the positivity rate among 5,300 migrants tested last month was 0.1%.
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THE U-S COULD BE JUST DAYS AWAY FROM HITTING ONE-MILLION MIGRANT ENCOUNTERS IN LESS THAN SIX MONTHS.THE REPORT FROM FOX NEWS CITES BORDER PATROL CHIEF RAUL ORTIZ — WHO SPOKE AT A BORDER SECURITY CONFERENCE TUESDAY. HE SAYS THIS WILL PUT A STRAIN ON BORDER AGENTS, WHO ARE ALREADY SHORT STAFFED.
ASSUMING THE CURRENT PATTERN HOLDS – ORTIZ’S COMMENTS WOULD MEAN THE U-S IS ON PACE FOR OVER 2 MILLION ENCOUNTERS BY THE END OF THIS FISCAL YEAR.

ARRESTS AT THE BORDER HAVE ALSO BEEN STEADILY INCREASING. ACCORDING TO NEWLY RELEASED AGENCY DATA…U.S. Border Patrol made more than 158-THOUSAND arrests in February.THE NEWS COMES AS THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CONSIDERS ENDING A PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER, THAT ALLOWS BORDER AUTHORITIES TO TURN AWAY MIGRANTS.