In total, more than 172,000 migrants were arrested at the border in March, a 15-year high in monthly crossings. Of these, the majority – more than 100,000 – were expelled almost immediately. This is because the Biden administration continued to use Title 42, a former Public Health Authority President Donald Trump, who received a phone call in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic to evict migrants without seeking asylum.
About 28 percent of the displaced were repeat cruisers that had previously been deported, officials said.
Meanwhile, more than 52,000 migrant families arrived in March, officials said. More than 17,000 – almost a third – of the families were expelled under title 42. Biden said he wanted to Mexico should take back all migrant families Arrive at the US-Mexico border, but Mexico is often unwilling or unable to receive them.
In the short term, the Biden administration has taken further steps to increase the capacity of the accommodations and reduce the time required to release unaccompanied minors to verified sponsors such as parents or family members. As of Tuesday, there were more than 20,000 unaccompanied children – 4,228 in CBP custody and 16,045 in HHS care, according to preliminary daily figures from DHS and HHS.
Upon request, officials said they were optimistic that they were making progress in moving children from CBP detention – widely viewed as inadequate to care for a child – into the care of HHS. Officials said the 30-day average for the number of children released from CBP detention rose from 276 children in late February to 507 in late March.
“We are moving in the right direction, but we know we still have a lot of work to do,” said one administration official.
Officials also stressed that Congress must take action to overhaul the existing US immigration system. Congress has not passed a comprehensive immigration reform in decades.
“Congress really needs to act,” said another official. “We really need to fix the system. If we don’t regulate legal immigration, it doesn’t matter who is president. We will run into this problem over and over again. “