(Reuters) – U.S. border officials arrested nearly 100,000 migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border in February. This comes from two people familiar with preliminary figures. This is the highest amount arrested in February since 2006.
The numbers, which have not yet been reported, show the extent of a growing number of migrants arriving at the southwest border as Democrat US President Joe Biden tries to reverse some of the restrictive measures put in place by former President Donald Trump, a Republican push back.
In particular, an increasing number of children arriving at the border without parents or guardians has forced US officials in recent weeks to seek housing and take steps to expedite their release to sponsors in the US.
The nearly 100,000 migrants detained on the U.S.-Mexico border in February would be a significant increase from the 78,000 in January. The sources that made the figures available to Reuters spoke on condition of anonymity.
U.S. border guards caught more than 4,500 migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in a single day on Wednesday. This is based on government data communicated to Reuters. This is a sign that the number of illegal entries could continue to rise in March.
Republicans have criticized Biden for undoing Trump’s tough immigration policies, saying the relocation will result in more migrants coming to the US
Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House of Representatives, sent a letter to Biden Friday asking for a meeting to discuss the issue. He said he was “very concerned” about the Biden government’s rapprochement with the border.
“We must acknowledge the border crisis, develop a plan and no doubt discourage people from Mexico and Central America from ever making the dangerous journey to our southern border,” McCarthy wrote in the letter.
(Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel in Mexico City and Ted Hesson in Washington; Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Ross Colvin, Will Dunham and Marguerita Choy)