Hundreds of Migrants Released From Overcrowded Facilities at Border

Miguel Moreno
By Miguel Moreno
March 21, 2019US News
Hundreds of Migrants Released From Overcrowded Facilities at Border
Asylum-seekers turn themselves in to a Border Patrol agent after crossing from Mexico into the United States near Mission, Texas, on Nov. 7, 2018. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Overcrowded Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) facilities have resulted in the release of at least 250 migrants from March 19 to 21, according to The Los Angeles Times. February was met with a 36 percent spike in apprehensions at the border—one of the highest monthly totals of the last decade.

On March 21, former Obama administration Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan told Fox Business that the U.S.-Mexico border is indeed facing a national emergency. He called what has been happening at the southern border a form of catch and release. Only now, because ICE facilities are also overcrowded, CBP is just directly releasing illegal aliens, giving them court date appearance notices as on their way out of custody.

Though the number of apprehensions isn’t as high as it was in 2005, when around 1.5 million apprehensions were made, Border Patrol of operations Brian Hastings told  Epoch Times Reporter Charlotte Cuthbertson that things are now more complicated.

Asylum Application Numbers on the Rise

In the past, 70 to 90 percent of arrests at the border were of Mexican nationals, which allowed CBP to return them to Mexico quickly. However, Central Americans now make up 70 percent of CBP apprehensions, and 89 percent of those seeking asylum have been meeting the current criteria that have been set to determine that individuals face credible fears back in their home country.

“The intelligence will show you, they’re not fleeing violence and persecution, like a lot of the talking points,” Morgan told Fox. “Actually the violence in Guatemala—all Central American countries—are way down.”

Family units applying for asylum are currently being released within the United States after the asylum screening. Morgan believes that loopholes in asylum laws are to blame, saying that those applying know that if they enter the United States, they will be set free and never heard from again.

Morgan said that they are coming for two reasons: economic equality and family reunification. Only nine percent of asylum seekers are eventually granted asylum after more thorough checks beyond the initial screening.

Changes to Asylum Laws

The border wall secured by President Trump will take time to be completed and is expected to provide more security for the United States by combating illegal entry. But Morgan said that there are other immediate ways that can be used in addition to the wall to deal with the unfolding crisis.

“[If] someone comes here illegally, and they want to claim asylum … they wait in their country of origin for the asylum claim to be heard,” Morgan told Fox Business. “Because the majority of them—they either don’t follow up with asylum claim [sic] … and those that do show up, the majority of them are denied.”

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