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Immigration

Former CBP commissioner: 'We have lost control of the southwest border'

According to CBP data, agents apprehended nearly 2 million undocumented migrants from more than 150 different countries along the U.S.-Mexico border

Biden administration orders release of thousands of Latin American migrants
Biden administration orders release of thousands of Latin American migrants | Shutterstock

January 10, 2022 7:23pm

Updated: January 10, 2022 7:23pm

As the economy flails and the omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to ravage the nation, arrests at the southern border are at a 21-year high as undocumented migrants continue to cross into the United States from Mexico.

In its first year, the Biden administration has overseen historic levels of illegal crossings. A related increase of drugs – including fentanyl – have entered the country as overdose deaths are at an all-time high across the U.S.  

In a recent interview with The Epoch Times, former acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Mark Morgan noted, “What we’re experiencing now on the southwest border is a complete, utter catastrophe.”

“We have lost control of the southwest border,” he added.

According to CBP data, agents apprehended nearly 2 million undocumented migrants in 2021 from more than 150 different countries along the U.S.-Mexico border – more than double the total number documented in 2019, the last year before the start of the pandemic.

But that number doesn’t account for those who successfully made it across the border without detection.

According to Morgan, CBP agents failed to arrest an additional 600,000 “gotaways.”

“That’s the equivalent to the size of the state of Vermont,” he said. “Think about the bad people that are in that 600,000 that got away.”

But while Mexican nationals made up 28 percent of total arrests in 2021 – the lowest proportion in recorded history – countries from the northern triangle made up 44 percent of total detentions.

Other highly represented nationalities which can be found in the data include Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Haiti and Cuba.

“This trend is important because the Department of Homeland Security does not currently have agreements to electronically verify nationality with these different countries of origin, making removing or expelling their nationals more resource-intensive and time-consuming,” CBP stated in a Jan. 3 press release.

This logistical problem is exacerbated by the fact that migrants often discard their passports, visas and other identification papers in order to make deportation proceedings more difficult for authorities to process.

This, coupled with the Biden administration’s cancellation of many of former President Trump’s key border security initiatives – including the Remain in Mexico program, which accounted for up to an 80 percent drop in “catch-and-release” by requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico until their final court judgment – has caused chaos among CBP’s ranks.

Border Patrol morale is currently at an all-time low, according to Morgan, as agents are being pulled off the border’s “national security mission” in order to be “daycare providers, processing agents, and bus drivers.”

Now, instead of waiting in Mexico, most illegal immigrants are released into the United States to wait for future court dates that can be set years into the future.

This is especially controversial, however, as administration officials recently admitted that they are still struggling to locate many of the hundreds of migrant children who were released into the U.S. pending a court hearing.

“Anytime you’re so overwhelmed that you can’t perform the fundamental national security mission to secure our borders,” said Morgan, “the result [is] that every aspect of our nation’s public health, public safety, and national security is being impacted.”

But Morgan predicts that things will not improve in 2022.

“There’s no end in sight. There’s none. And this administration, every single day, everything they’re doing is just to get better at releasing people. They’re not trying to stop the flow,” he said.