After visiting the border in Yuma, Arizona, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., the head of the House Border Security Caucus, is warning that the U.S.-Mexico border is “overrun” could potentially worsen in 2022 if the Biden administration doesn’t change course.
Biggs said that during his trip to the border in Yuma, he saw dozens of migrants pouring into the country in a short span of time, specifically through gaps in the border wall. The Biden administration stopped wall construction, even amid a remarkable surge in numbers of illegal migrants coming to the border.
“What’s happening in Yuma right now, it’s basically overrun,” he said, adding how he saw groups of 30 or 40 migrants walking in at a time. “It’s just so casual. It’s not extraordinary anymore to illegally cross our borders.”
Border numbers have continued to surge throughout fall and winter so far, after decreasing slightly from the more than 200,000 encounters of the summer. In November, agents reported 173,620 encounters at the southern border, a startling increase of 140 percent from the same time last year.
The figures showed border encounters in November increased by nearly 10,000 from October, which saw an increase of nearly 130% over from October 2020. Biggs notes that many of the migrants who are encountered will be processed and quickly released into the interior of the United States.
“You see it’s just absolutely open, and you know what’s happening in Yuma is what’s happening in Del Rio, the same thing happening in the Rio Grande on a daily basis,” he said.
Yuma law enforcement officials say they are overwhelmed after a surge of illegal immigrants crossed through Yuma in a single week this month.
Since October of this year, Customs and Border Protection reported close to 22,000 encounters in the Yuma Sector. One law enforcement official in the area said the situation is “absolute chaos.”
Biggs said that migrants are exploiting gaps in the wall and fencing along the border. Other parts of the sector only have short Normandy fences, which are significantly easier for migrants to traverse.
“It’s the gaps — it’s the gaps where you see this happening. And not just there — it’s everywhere I’ve been along the border. It’s the gaps in the fence.”
Biggs believes the situation will get worse in 2022, and the border will likely see more traffic because the administration is not reversing course on its policies.
“What has been the Biden response?” Biggs said. “[DHS Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas has done nothing. [Vice President] Kamala Harris goes down there and does nothing, saying climate change is the root cause. I’ve talked to folks down in Colombia and Panama, and what you see there are big groups amassing down there, so you’re going to see more caravans coming up.”
Biggs offers a number of suggestions for improving the situation including finishing the construction of the border wall, ending “catch-and-release” and increasing the number of migrants and illegal immigrants being returned to their countries.
“I would say within a few months, you could solve this problem, but as soon as you start sending people back home, it just dries up a substantial amount of the traffic immediately.”