More than 172,000 people attempted to come across the border from Mexico illegally in March, marking the highest monthly total in 15 years and five times greater than the amount seen last March at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden's first 100 days have been overtaken by the situation at the border, which Republicans have unsuccessfully urged him to declare a "crisis." Biden has yet to visit the southern border since moving into the White House and has been focused on economic recovery and infrastructure as the government rolls out coronavirus vaccines nationwide.
Ninety-seven percent of the 172,000 tried to get across in between land ports of entry where Border Patrol agents work, while the several thousand others were denied entry at the official crossings where vehicles and pedestrians are supposed to be inspected before entering the United States, Biden administration officials told reporters in a call Thursday.
Approximately 78,000 were encountered at the southern border in January, which was higher than normal. Those numbers only rose since then, passing 100,000 in February and now reaching levels not seen since the George W. Bush administration in 2006. Mexican men made up most of the people encountered in 2006 versus the tens of thousands of families and children from other countries arriving in high numbers now, presenting a new challenge for the Biden administration, which has been reluctant to detain migrants.
The number of Central American children who came across without a parent or guardian rose to a record-high 18,890 in March. The previous record of 11,861 was set in May 2019. The Biden administration in late January opted not to continue immediately turning away unaccompanied children as had been the Trump administration’s policy for adults, families, and children since March 2020 in an ... (Read more)
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