More than 22,220 undocumented migrants have been apprehended at all U.S. borders in the past 72 hours, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said on Monday.
In addition to the apprehensions, Border Patrol agents seized 806 pounds of methamphetamine, 283 pounds of marijuana, 62 pounds of cocaine, 3 firearms and intercepted two sex offenders, one convicted murderer, and one gang member at the border.
Over the past 10 days, the number of migrant apprehensions at the border has skyrocketed, with more than 73,000 migrants crossing the border, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. In the previous week alone, 51,560 undocumented migrants were intercepted at the border.
In addition, authorities believe there were more than 17,000 “gotaways,” or individuals who accessed the country but were not apprehended according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The rise in apprehensions at the border comes as the end of the pandemic-era immigration policy Title 42 is nearing on May 11. Title 42 was implemented in March 2020 to allow border patrol agents to quickly expel undocumented migrants without allowing them to apply for asylum in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Most of the individuals are handing themselves over to border agents in an attempt to seek asylum in the U.S. However, most are being processed and deported back to their home countries under Title 42.
The Department of Homeland Security is expecting between 13,000 and 18,000 migrants—around 400,000 per month—to attempt to cross the southern border every day once the policy expires.
Currently, there are “several thousand” migrants in northern Mexico waiting for May 12 in order to turn themselves in to immigration officers for processing. According to footage from CBS 8, groups of migrants are lining up along the border wall.
Immigration facilities near the U.S.-Mexico border have also reached full capacity, with more than 20,600 migrants currently in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.