Border Patrol agents have stopped migrants from 147 different countries since October

Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz said this week that his investigators had encountered hundreds of thousands of migrants from more than 140 countries. He said he did not have “operational control” of the southern border.

“So far in FY23, US Border Patrol has arrested 900,590 people from 147 countries,” said Ortiz. 2023 started in October.

The top five countries of concern were Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Colombia and Guatemala.

Ortiz’s announcement comes as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said there were 154,998 migrant encounters at the southern border in February. This is down from the 166,010 encountered in February 2022 and slightly down from the 156,770 encountered in January 2023. In February 2021, the number of encounters in February 2020 was 101,099 and 36,687.

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While still relatively high, the figure is the lowest dating since January 2022 and the second lowest since February 2021. CBP said in its release that 71.4% of February’s southern border encounters were single. Of those encountered, 46.8% were deported under Title 42 Orders. This will allow the expedited deportation of immigrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The administration linked the decline to the border measures it rolled out in January. Announced humanitarian parole programs in Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua, capable of accepting up to 30,000 immigrants per month. We have also expanded the Title 42 expulsion to include these nationalities.

It also proposes an asylum rule that automatically disqualifies asylum if an immigrant enters the country illegally and transits through another country without seeking asylum.

This will take effect before the end of Title 42 deportation, which allows for the rapid deportation of immigrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order will expire on May 11 with the end of the public health emergency, raising concerns about a new surge in immigration.

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Ortiz gave some blow to the administration’s explanation of the border crisis when he addressed a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday. This contradicts statements made last year by DHS Director Alejandro Mayorcas.

Border patrol chief says DHS does not control US border operations

March 15, 2023: Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testifies at a Homeland Security hearing. (screenshot)

But the Department of Homeland Security said the hearings “highlight the important work that Homeland Security does every day to enforce our laws, protect our borders, and fight cartels and smugglers.” He pointed to testimony from Ortiz and other witnesses who indicated a “new program.” , technology, and investments are making a real impact. ”


“Despite inheriting a dismantled immigration system and facing unprecedented immigration affecting countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, this administration has surged resources to its borders and has been spurring encounters between ports of entry. We have reduced numbers, thwarted more smuggling operations, and deterred more smuggling, using more drugs in the last two years than we were banned in the previous five years. ‘ said the spokesperson.

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