The Border Patrol averaged nearly 10,000 arrests a day over the last week, putting it on pace to obliterate previous records for illegal immigration.
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz announced the numbers on Twitter Friday morning, just hours after the Title 42 pandemic migrant expulsion power expired.
He said the Border Patrol recorded 67,759 apprehensions over the last seven days. That works out to 9,680 people per day.
The end of Title 42 emergency expulsion power is expected to drive the numbers up even higher, with Chief Ortiz’s deputy telling a judge they could quickly hit 14,000 arrests a day.
Title 42, a COVID-19 emergency border policy that allowed immediate removal of some migrants, expired at midnight Thursday.
Officials said that at least in the early hours Friday, things were holding firm at “elevated” levels but no real surge.
“We did not see any substantial increase in migration this morning,” Assistant Homeland Security Secretary Blas Nieto-Nunez told reporters.
His boss, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, has said things are going according to his plans, though he said it will take some time before the effects are seen.
The nearly 68,000 apprehensions last week is up from about 55,000 the week before, and up from the 30,000 to 35,000 that the Border Patrol was averaging each week early in the year.
Chief Ortiz said the Border Patrol also detected 15,780 migrants who they know crossed but who they didn’t manage to apprehend. That’s down from 18,698 “gotaways” the previous week.
That could actually be a worrying sign, according to Border Patrol agents who say that they are swamped with duties related to processing and caretaking for the migrants in custody. That means fewer agents out in the field to detect and apprehend illegal crossers.
• Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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