Sources from the U.S. Border Patrol report an uptick in illegal immigrants being released directly into the Arizona interior.
In the Tucson sector, for example, agents stated that on 9/12/23, over 2000 individual males, including a large number from Senegal and other African nations, were released, most with a simple NTA (notice to appear) for a later date. The Tucson-based agents also reported a significant growth in apprehensions, with over 7,400 stopped last Tuesday alone. When combined with ports of entry encounters, that number hit 9,100. Some have attributed the swing to the border-hardening measures implemented in Texas by Governor Greg Abbott, making entry into Arizona more appealing.
According to the Biden administration, these interior releases are needed due to sharp increases in illegal border crossings since July (over 200K recorded encounters, not including “gotaways”). They admit that the border patrol is hard-pressed to keep up with rapid crossing growth. In an email obtained by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office, this “quick release” is part of an extensive Biden administration initiative to speed up the processing of illegal immigrants.
According to the email, the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is proposing “daily bookout targets” per sector “to bring in-custody numbers to manageable levels” based on 7-day averages. The email states that when expedited removals and other measures are unavailable, releasing migrants with Notices to Appear (NTA/OR) at a future court date should be used.
Republican critics call this “catch and release” tactic an obvious failure and an apparent attempt to swell the ranks of reliable Democrat votes. The Biden Administration blames Republicans for failing to pass laws fixing a “broken” system. Of course, Biden, whose party controlled both Congressional houses for two years, immediately reversed the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” policy while failing to pass any meaningful immigration reform. Kamala Harris, Biden’s appointed “border czar,” has been criticized for also neglecting the border. Many also claim that Biden’s pro-illegal immigration policies and rhetoric have exacerbated the problem, resulting in what some describe as a significant threat to national security.
In a recent interview, Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform told “The Center Square,” a national news outlet created by the Franklin News Foundation, “Our open borders and easily abused asylum policies are not just a magnet for millions of economic migrants, they are also an open invitation for people who are intent on doing harm to our nation. International terrorist organizations and criminal cartels are very aware of our vulnerabilities and will not hesitate to exploit them.”
Federal data shows that 525 known or suspected terrorists were apprehended by agents through the first nine months of this fiscal year, up from 478 last year. These figures do not reflect known “gotaways,” much less the number of unknowns. To help combat the rising issue at the Arizona border, Governor Katie Hobbs recently allocated $41 million to Cochise County, encompassing the state’s southeastern-most border with Mexico. Given Hobbs’ vocal anti-border-wall rhetoric, it’s hard to predict whether Hobbs will provide meaningful leadership against the border onslaught.
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