SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — According to an unpublished US Customs and Border Protection report, from October of 2020 to this month, US authorities have detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the Mexican border. That is the highest number ever recorded.
While there is disagreement as to why the numbers are so high, all sides to the issue agree on one thing. Why does millions of people feel compelled to put their lives in danger to seek refugee, knowing there's a chance to be arrested at the border?
"It's not surprising," shared Pedro Rios, the Director of American Friends Service Community. "Because we see the policies that the Trump administration had during his administration continued under the Biden administration."
Rios said that there are many factors that contribute to the highest number of migrants to ever be detained at the US-Mexico border. He believed the biggest is Title 42, which allows border patrol to expel without due process.
"I would question whether or not that is unique individuals or whether a third of those, which have been the trend, are people who have attempted to cross once, twice, maybe three times and are being expelled because of Title 42," said Rios.
Across the Southern border, more than 1.7 million migrants were apprehended from October 2020 to October 2021.
According to San Diego Customs Border Protection, from October 2020 to August of 2021, the San Diego sector alone apprehended 129,697 individuals. That is a 175.3% increase from the numbers in 2020.
"What we have is a surge of illegal immigrants coming into this country and they were invited by President Joe Biden and egged on by human traffickers," said Carl DeMaio, the Chairman of Reform California.
DeMaio shared his concern is with the surge; which he believes are migrants escaping critical conditions.
"What brought them there in the first place?" questioned DeMaio. "What brought them there is the fact that Joe Biden invited, literally verbally said come on over, and created this crisis. Then Joe Biden reversed on the policies that were working, lowering human trafficking and securing a border."
The numbers show that while the spike in migrants came after inauguration, the largest surge was in the summer months. Rios said that is typical. He said another factor could be climate change in Central American countries, forcing people to migrate.
All sides agree, that change to the system itself is necessary.
"I think we need to deal with the root causes and what is making people have to make that very difficult choice to have to flee everything they know, make the trek to the US, and then find themselves that the US is not respecting international laws on asylum," said Rios.
Rios asked that the Biden Administration recommits the US to observe international covenants around asylum practices.