It’s not a crisis, right? Someone must not have told the Associated Press because Thursday they reported the Border Patrol is overwhelmed by waves of migrant families from Central America arriving to claim asylum in America.
Waves of desperate families are trying to cross the border almost hourly and entering an overtaxed government detention system.
The Border Patrol has become so overwhelmed in feeding and caring for the migrants that it announced plans this week to start releasing some families onto the street in the Rio Grande Valley to ease overcrowding in the processing center, providing the immigrants with a notice to appear at an upcoming court date.
“We have an unprecedented crisis upon us,” Robert Perez, deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol’s parent agency, said in an interview.
The Border Patrol says it made about 66,000 apprehensions of people crossing the border illegally in February, including 36,000 parents and children, an all-time monthly high. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, meanwhile, said since Dec. 21 it has released 107,000 family members while they await court dates.
Immigration authorities expect the number of parents and children to surpass 50,000 in March during the traditional spring spike in migration and potentially reach 180,000 in May, according to two U.S. officials who were not authorized to speak publicly about internal documents.
As I noted yesterday, this new reality at the border is not sitting well with Democrats who have invested a lot of time and energy into talking points denying a crisis is brewing at the border. But the evidence to the contrary keeps pouring in.
You can, of course, argue that building the wall won’t change this situation. I think there’s some truth to that. Whether they’re motivated by fear of gangs back home or a desire to find a better life with relatives already here in America, many of these people would be coming whether or not there was a wall. Wading across the Rio Grande and turning themselves in to Border Patrol speeds up the process but if they had to wait at a port of entry for a few months, many would do that too. Simply put, things are bad there and things are pretty good here (even if AOC thinks America is a dystopia).
There’s no quick solution here that I can see. We can’t fix all the problems pushing people to leave their homes. Are all the Democrats who were against nation-building in Iraq suddenly going to propose nation-building in Central America? Still, there has to be some orderly process that neither denies asylum to people who genuinely need it nor grants a pass to everyone who wants one simply because they showed up. Right now what we have is a system that is overwhelmed and things are almost certainly going to get worse this summer.
Here’s the AP’s video report: