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A dramatic drop in the number of migrant encounters in the El Paso Sector is being reported by the Border Patrol. It sounds like welcome news but perhaps the news should be taken with a healthy dose of cautious optimism. Triple-digit temperatures and social media messaging is likely the reason for the noticeable drop in encounters for now.
There were record numbers of migrant encounters reported just last month. What has changed is the rise in summer temperatures and a social media campaign on both sides of the border warning migrants that Title 42 is still in effect. Temperatures reach above 100 degrees, often up to 107 degrees. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reports a “significant downturn” in new migrant encounters. There is also a decrease in the number of people being held in custody in the past two weeks. El Paso’s Central Processing Station has removed 4,300 migrants in less than a week. Most of them have been put on flights back to Haiti, according to Chief Border Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez. In mid-May, Agent Chavez was tweeting that daily encounters were climbing above 1,200 per day. Now the number is in the 700 to 800 range.
“The El Paso Sector saw an average of more than 1,000 migrant encounters a day during the months of April and May. Since the beginning of June, we’ve seen a decrease in encounters that average around 775 migrant encounters a day,” the Border Patrol said in an email to Border Report.
The agency said it’s too early to say for sure what’s driving down the numbers.
But officials on both sides of the border have been constantly warning potential newcomers about rising temperatures along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“CBP has been messaging about the dangers of crossing the border illegally between the ports of entry during the extreme heat of the Chihuahuan Desert. We want to save lives and we are trying to be proactive in warning migrants not to cross in these extreme heat conditions,” said Landon Hutchens, a CBP spokesman.
Shelters in Juarez were full as recently as just a couple of weeks ago, with migrants sleeping on the streets and on steps of downtown businesses. Now the message has gone out that it’s not the time to make the trip.
“This is not the best time to make the trip, not just because of their personal safety, but also because of the weather,” said Enrique Valenzuela, head of the Chihuahua Population Council that runs Juarez’s Migrant Assistance Center. “We ask them to wait for official information and not to trust smugglers whose only interest is to make money off of them.”
This is why we should be cautious about feeling optimistic that maybe the flood of migrants is slowing. They are being told to wait, not to just not come. Once temperatures fall again after we get through the hottest months this summer, it will likely start back up. As long as Joe Biden and Secretary Mayorkas are in charge, the Biden border crisis will continue.
Nonprofit directors are also skeptical that this slowing will be the new normal. One El Paso nonprofit, the shelters of Annunciation House, is housing 220 migrants now, while it housed 650 last week. Executive Director Ruben Garcia urges caution in getting too hopeful about the decreases. “One moment it’s fewer, and the next ‘the sky is falling, the sky is falling!’” he said.
Border Patrol agents are warning that drownings are on the rise in area canals. There has been 23 deaths from drowning so far, compared to 39 deaths for all of fiscal year 2021. Five migrants drowned just last week as they tried to cross irrigation canals that run parallel to the border wall. Border Patrol spokesman Orlando Marrero notes that cartels are using the migrants to distract Border Patrol agents in order to push through bigger groups.
“We are dealing with criminal organizations that are promising migrants safe passage and safe crossing of the border when we know that is a lie,” he said. “They are lied to for financial gain. They don’t care about the safety of the migrants; they don’t care about the life of the migrants. They’re going to use them to distract us and move our resources to perform those rescues to push a bigger group through the area.”
There is nothing humane about the Biden border crisis. Drug cartels and human traffickers are exploiting migrants for their own financial gain. Biden refuses to enforce immigration laws and Secretary Mayorkas turns a blind eye.
Last week Team Biden was dealt a huge blow when a federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of Texas and Louisiana over the administration releasing “criminal illegal aliens” into the U.S. instead of deporting them. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a 96-page opinion vacating a memorandum issued by DHS Secretary Mayorkas. He called Mayorkas’ policy “arbitrary and capricious, contrary to law, and failing to observe procedure under the Administrative Procedure Act.” And he denied all other requested relief brought by the administration. This ruling is a strong reprimand against Mayorkas ignoring the law and moving forward as he sees fit, which is to not bother deporting illegal aliens unless they have a history of violent convictions.
The number of migrant encounters may be down in the El Paso Sector but there are record numbers of arrests of violent offenders with cartel and gang connections along the border.
NEW: Border Patrol here in the RGV sector arrested a convicted murderer, a rapist, & 9 gang members over the weekend. They include a Salvadoran man sentenced to 16 yrs for murder in TX, a Salvadoran man convicted of 1st degree rape in OK in 2001, & six members of MS-13. @FoxNews
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) June 13, 2022