REYNOSA, TAMAULIPAS.- Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector encountered almost 2,000 migrants in a single 24-hour period on Friday, with at least 262 migrants getting past overwhelmed agents due to a lack of manpower.
A Department of Homeland Security source told Fox News that there were 1,909 encounters with illegal migrants in the sector. Meanwhile, there were 262 “gotaways” — in which agents saw crossers on cameras or sensors but don’t have the manpower to get to. It means there could be even more illegal migrants getting past agents who were undetected.
So far in Fiscal Year 2022, the RGV sector has seen more than 65,000 migrant encounters to date, a 161% increase over the same period last year. In nearby Del Rio Sector, there has been a 236% increase in encounters over the same period last year. There have so far been 6,500 known gotaways in the sector alone.
The Biden administration has been tackling a massive crisis at the southern border since shortly after it came into office. More than 1.7 million migrants were encountered in Fiscal Year 2021, and more than 192,000 migrants were encountered in September alone.
The Biden administration has blamed the Trump administration for shutting off legal asylum pathways, while also blaming “root causes” like poverty and violence in Central America for the surge that has hit record highs.
Republicans meanwhile have blamed Biden policies like the decision to end border wall construction and moves to end the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — which kept migrants in Mexico as they await their hearings.
The Biden administration, meanwhile, has kept in place Trump-era Title 42 public health protections which allow for the rapid expulsion of migrants at the border. However, it is not applying them to unaccompanied children or to many migrant families — who are instead being processed and released into the United States, often with little more than a notice to report at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office within 60 days.
The administration is also re-establishing MPP after a federal court order, upheld by the Supreme Court, found that the program had not been rolled back legally. Officials have said they are re-implementing the program by mid-November, while also issuing a new memo to unravel the program in line with the court ruling.
Earlier this week Texas law enforcement conducted an operation earlier this week that nabbed a human smuggler bringing multiple migrants – included a previously deported felon with convictions for sexual assault – into the U.S. on a raft.