Friday, April 16

Almost 30% of migrants found at the border are repeat offenders

(CNN) — Nearly 30% of immigrants detained at the US-Mexico border last month had previously attempted to cross, according to the Joe Biden administration, as authorities continue to rely on a public health decree that has allowed expulsion. of thousands of migrants.

“The levels of flows are challenging for the Border Patrol, but the high level of recidivism means that we cannot consider those flows as individual people. They are often the same people who come back, ”said an administration official.

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Increase in repeat offenders

The public health decree implemented under the Trump administration, which allows border authorities to quickly turn away undocumented immigrants detained at the southern border of the United States, has contributed to the increase in repeat offenders, as migrants are being expelled, not deported. .

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detected more than 172,000 people trying to cross the US-Mexico border in March, an increase of 71% with compared to February, according to administration officials who briefed journalists on Wednesday. This figure also includes those who cross the border again.

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While the majority of the people at the border are single adults, who are being turned away under the public health decree, CBP apprehended a record number of unaccompanied migrant minors, with 18,890, in March, almost double the number. in February. CNN has already reported the increase in arrests in March.

Federal government officials maintained that most of the people detained at the border in March were quickly expelled. Single adults and families are subject to the policy related to the pandemic, although some families have been admitted to the US, as a result of limited capacity in Mexico.

Unaccompanied migrant minors

However, the growing number of unaccompanied migrant minors arriving at the US-Mexico border remains a challenge for authorities, as minors crossing alone are not subject to the public health decree. “We are moving in the right direction, but we know we have a lot of work ahead of us,” the official added. In recent weeks, the Biden administration has announced at least 11 new sites to house minors and transfer them outside of the overcrowded CBP facilities, which have prison-like conditions.

New measures

The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees a network of shelters for immigrant minors, has been trying to expedite the release of minors from U.S. custody to a guardian, such as a parent or relative, in the United States, another official from the United States said. the administration.

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“We have increased the release rate and we have made sure to unite minors with their guardians as soon as possible, as well as reducing the duration of care in terms of the time they remain in the facility to meet this need,” said the official.

One of those steps includes the deployment of personnel from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency under the Department of Homeland Security, to collaborate with case managers from the Office of the Attorney General. Refugee Resettlement (ORR) from the Department of Health and Human Services. “These USCIS case managers have been trained by ORR’s field specialists and have a very, very strong understanding of the process,” the official said, adding that increased staffing has helped place juveniles with their tutors.

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