Due to “severe overcrowding” at U.S. detention centers, border patrol officials are releasing hundreds of illegal migrants from the centers.
Detention centers are reaching a breaking point with the surge of families and unaccompanied children overwhelming the U.S.-Mexico southern border, resulting in overcrowded facilities.
In an interview this week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen commented about the crisis at the southern border, saying, it’s a “system meltdown.”
“We truly are in system meltdown,” Nielsen said. “The system was not built for this type of flow, for these numbers and what we’re seeing, whether it’s drugs, whether it’s traffickers, whether it’s the child exploiters, or whether it’s all the families and the children who are coming across very sick and very in need.”
The number of recent illegal migrant apprehensions and attempts to cross the southern border are staggering.
This week, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Tweeted that over 400 illegal migrants were apprehended in a five-minute span.
#BorderPatrol agents apprehended 2 large groups within 5 minutes of one another in El Paso Sector early this morning. The groups totaled 430 individuals—mostly Central American families and unaccompanied children. https://t.co/PaXLjnqhgL pic.twitter.com/ZH9k05Kndl
— CBP (@CBP) March 20, 2019
For the month of March, the Department of Homeland Security is projecting 100,000 illegal migrants will be apprehended at the southern border.
In February, over 70,000 illegal migrants tried to cross the U.S. southern border and were apprehended, one of the highest numbers in the last 12 years for the month of February.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan acknowledged to reporters, “The system is well beyond capacity and remains at the breaking point.”