An average of 441 unaccompanied children will cross the U.S.-Mexico border into border patrol custody every day this year, according to estimates from the Department of Homeland Security.
President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly expecting between 148,000 and 161,000 unaccompanied minors to cross the border in the fiscal year 2022, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.
The documents reportedly detail the response to the influx from the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for placing unaccompanied minors into homes. U.S. law states that such minors cannot be sent back across the border unless their country of origin is either Canada or Mexico.
The estimates indicate a sharp increase over 2021, in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered 112,433 unaccompanied minors.
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Border crossings have continuously surged since Biden gained office in January 2021. The DHS was anticipating a rate of 18,000 border encounters per day as of late April.
The Biden administration has repeatedly attempted to dismiss border surges as a yearly pattern. While the southern border has seen a pattern of increases in migration each spring, the surges in both 2021 and 2022 have far outpaced previous years.
Border agents made it clear to DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas in late January that many of them blame the Biden administration’s policies for the surge. Mayorkas visited border patrol agents in Laredo, Texas, on Jan. 29, and the meeting threatened to boil over as individual agents criticized his policies.
U.S. Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz struggled to maintain control as agents accused Mayorkas of “releasing criminal aliens into the country.”
“That’s the problem, chief,” one agent interjected. “For evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. That’s exactly what’s happening here. Good men are doing nothing. You’re allowing illegal aliens to be dropped off in communities.”
Ortiz responded by highlighting the organization’s success in drug-busting efforts, particularly with fentanyl.
“And under this administration, in the last year, we’ve got the highest fentanyl deaths in the history of our country,” another agent countered.