The U.S.-Mexico border is seeing record numbers of Venezuelan migrants—an estimated over 6,000 migrants crossed the border last month, a sharp contrast to the fewer than 1,000 migrants that have crossed the border each year for the past decade. Typically, Venezuelans have flown into the U.S. but are not taking much more desperate measures to seek entry as Venezuela’s human rights crisis deepens.
Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that he will propose a new regional migration agreement during the virtual Climate Summit. This proposal includes the expansion of legal work programs in Mexico and the United States, with an eventual pathway to U.S. citizenship.
Over 171,000 migrants were encountered on the southern border during March 2021, according to preliminary CBP data. This is the highest monthly total since 2006.
78,323 migrants have been reportedly processed or apprehended during the month of January, a slight uptick from the previous month. Rates of migrants trying to cross the border more than once are up to 38 percent from 7 percent.
2020 was the deadliest year on record for migrants crossing into Arizona, with 225 remains of migrants found so far according to Humane Borders and the Pima County Medical Examiner. This is likely due to a combination of border wall construction forcing migrants to take remote routes, increased CBP hostility to humanitarian groups, and soaring temperatures.
The Biden administration will take several months to fully reestablish the asylum process on the US-Mexico border, according to an interview with Susan Rice and Jake Sullivan, Biden’s picks for domestic policy adviser and national security adviser. Rice and Sullivan cautioned migrants that “now is not the time” to come to the border.
Army Corps of Engineers estimates show that if Joe Biden stopped border wall construction on day 1, it would save taxpayers around 2.6 billion, even accounting for the costs of ending contracts with border wall construction companies.
- U.S. border officials have expelled at least 66 unaccompanied migrant children without a court hearing or asylum interview since a federal judge ordered them to stop the practice, the Trump administration conceded.
- The Trump administration is proposing a far-reaching overhaul of the asylum system that would make it harder for applicants to win humanitarian protection in the U.S. and would allow the government to quickly deport many more asylum seekers at the border. The proposal, made public Wednesday by the Justice and Homeland Security Departments, would mean most asylum applicants are no longer entitled to a full court proceeding to hear their claims, as they are now.
- The number of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has nearly doubled in recent weeks, and smugglers are using riskier tactics to get them across, a top U.S. Border Patrol official says. Agents are apprehending an average of 153 young migrants a day at the border since October, up from about 80 a day earlier this year, Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz, Border Patrol’s second in command, said in an interview with USA TODAY.
- For the last three years, the Chula Vista Police Department has allowed other policing agencies — including Immigration and Customs Enforcement — to access the data it has collected from license plate readers as part of a previously unreported partnership with a private company.
- An El Paso immigrant detention facility has the largest current detainee COVID-19 outbreak of any Immigrations and Customs Enforcement facility in the United States. As of Nov. 30, 44 detainees at El Paso Service Processing Center have COVID-19, according to ICE’s website. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 301 detainees in El Paso have tested positive for the virus. The next largest outbreak is 35 at a detention facility in Pearsall, Texas.
- Legal advocates tasked by a federal judge with helping to find migrant families separated at the U.S. border in 2017 and 2018 say that after months of pleas, the government last week handed over new data that could be critical to helping them find the families.
- Human smugglers are exploiting the enforcement policies that President Donald Trump’s administration set in motion along the U.S.-Mexico border, including large-scale restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the ongoing construction of physical barriers. Those U.S. policies — coupled with the precarious living situations for thousands of migrants that the pandemic has exacerbated in Mexico — are creating ripe conditions for smugglers. The result is a dramatic rise in human smuggling activity across southern Arizona over the past year, according to multiple federal and local law enforcement agencies in the state.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have shut down the South Texas warehouse where chain-link enclosures were deplored as “cages” during the Trump administration’s crackdown on migrant families and children. The facility will undergo renovations until 2022, CBP officials said.
- US Customs and Border Protection held more than five dozen children, some under the age of 1, in facilities along the US-Mexico border for over three days during the last two months, according to a new federal court filing.
- Border Patrol agents are already seeing a Biden surge in illegal immigration at the southwest border, officials said, with the numbers surging 21% over the last month alone. Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said worsening economic conditions south of the border are largely responsible for the uptick, but he also blamed “perceived and or anticipated shifts in policies” here in the U.S.
- U.S. authorities made more than 69,000 arrests and detentions last month along the border with Mexico, a 21 percent increase from September and the highest total for any October since 2005, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures released today. The increase was partly fueled by a soaring number of repeat arrests along the border resulting from the Trump administration’s practice of quickly “expelling” people to Mexico after they enter the country illegally.
- The Trump White House blocked the Justice Department from making a deal in October 2019 to pay for mental health services for migrant families who had been separated by the Trump administration, two current and two former senior administration officials told NBC News.
- A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to halt its practice of “expelling” underage migrants who enter the United States without a parent, a ruling that also cast doubt on the broader legality of the emergency public health measures the U.S. government has used since March to impose strict border controls. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s preliminary injunction requires the Trump administration to once more process the humanitarian claims of minors who cross the U.S. border alone, rather than returning them to Mexico or flying them back to their home countries without due process.