Deputy Chief of U.S. Border Patrol Raul Ortiz told reporters on Tuesday that he expects border patrol to encounter over one million illegal immigrants crossing the border this year - as the Biden administration struggles to maintain any sort of organization and structure in the processing of these individuals during this immigration crisis.
“We’re already starting to see some higher days of 6,000-plus apprehensions,” said Ortiz. “So I fully expect our border patrol agents to encounter over a million people this year.”
In February alone, over 100,000 migrants were encountered crossing the border, and when the March data is released, that number is expected to increase. An estimated 16,000 unaccompanied migrant children were encountered in March.
On Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a statement criticizing the human smugglers profiting off of the migrants.
“The inhumane way smugglers abuse children while profiting off parents’ desperation is criminal and morally reprehensible," he said. "Just this month, a young girl died by drowning, a six-month-old was thrown into the river, and two young children were dropped from a wall and left in the desert alone.”
“There can be no doubt that children are exceptionally vulnerable when placed in the hands of smugglers,” Mayorkas continued. “There is grave risk they will be exploited and harmed. I applaud our heroic Border Patrol agents who have saved lives this week and every week, while putting their own lives at risk for the greater good of the country.”
A video tweeted by Border Patrol Chief Gloria Chavez on Thursday showed two young girls, 3 and 5 years old, being dropped from the top of a 14-foot border wall by a human smuggler. Fortunately, Border Patrol agents were able to recover the girls and they were not seriously injured.
Smugglers, under cover of night, scaled a 14 ft. border barrier and cruelly dropped 2 young children in the middle of the New Mexico desert. The girls, ages 3 & 5, were left miles from the nearest residence. Thank you STN Agents for rescuing these children! @CBP @CBPWestTexas pic.twitter.com/U91y2g8Lk1— Gloria I. Chavez (@USBPChiefEPT) March 31, 2021