Report: U.S. Border Officials Expect More Than 1 Million To Cross The Border In 2021

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As the Biden administration comes under increasing pressure for the situation at the border, a top border official told Reuters on Tuesday that more than one million immigrants are expected to arrive at the southern border this year. 

The border has gained increasing attention, as earlier this month it was reported that 15,000 unaccompanied minors were being housed by authorities.

U.S. Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz said that the Border Patrol arrested 100,000 illegal immigrants in February alone.

That is the largest number of arrests since mid-2019, but Ortiz added that the most crossings tend to happen during April and June.

He added, “We’re already starting to see some higher days of 6,000-plus apprehensions. So I fully expect our border patrol agents to encounter over a million people this year.”

Reuters reports that, despite the huge sum of one million migrants possibly reaching the border this year, as relayed by Ortiz, a similar number attempted to cross in 2019. 

“If the figures reach 1 million, it could mirror a similar increase in border crossings in 2019 during Donald Trump’s presidency, when nearly 978,000 migrants were taken into custody.”

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Biden Administration Refuses To Call Border A Crisis

As the stream of migrants coming across the border shows no sign of letting up, and officials are running out of room to house them, Joe Biden and those in his administration refuse to call the situation a crisis.

During the 2020 campaign, Biden’s rhetoric was markedly different than it is now.

During a debate, in response to a question from Jorge Ramos about whether or not the Obama administration made a mistake deporting three million illegal immigrants, Biden said in part, “I would in fact make sure, that there is – that we immediately surge to the border. All those people seeking asylum, they deserve to be heard. That’s who we are. We are a nation that says, if you want to flee and you are fleeing oppression, you should come.” 

Now, as president, Biden has seemingly changed his tune. Two weeks ago, Biden explicitly said “Don’t come” referring to migrants seeking to cross the border.

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Vice President Kamala Harris Put In Charge Of The Border?

Recently, Joe Biden appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the response to the illegal immgration situation. He stated that, “I can think of nobody better qualified to do this.” 

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) however, disagreed wholeheartedly with the appointment.

“In no point in her career has she given any indication that she considers the border a problem or a serious threat.”

“If President Biden’s intent was to show that he’s taking this issue seriously, he’s really done the exact opposite,” he continued, going on to say that Biden “completely trivialized the issue by putting someone in charge who flat out just doesn’t care.”

As for Harris’ specific role, the White House has tried to clarify that Harris is not leading an effort on the border itself, but rather “root causes.”

White House Spokeswoman Symone Sanders says that Harris has received an “extensive briefing on the Northern triangle and Latin America,” however, “The vice president is not doing the border.”

Sanders added that Harris’ role in addressing the border is more of a diplomatic one, and that, “You can expect that she will be speaking with leaders from the region in the near future.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki echoed that sentiment, clarifying that “The vice president of the United States will be helping lead that effort, specifically the root causes — not the border, there’s some confusion over that.”

Although there have been calls for both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to go to the border to see the situation first hand, the White House says that there are no “immediate plans” for either to visit the region.

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Trump And GOP Weigh In

In an interview with his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, former President Trump talked about the border.

“Look at our borders, look what’s happening. We had the best southern border that we’ve ever had and in one day he said, ‘Everybody come up,’ and what’s going on now is something compared to what’s going to take place during the summer.” 

On Tuesday, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Tom McClintock (R-CA) demanded documents related to the reports that the Biden transition team had been warned by Department of Homeland Security officials about possible consequences of reversing Trump-era immigration policies.

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