Arizona Border Chief Warns Illegal Immigration on Track to Top Past 3 Years Combined

Arizona Border Chief Warns Illegal Immigration on Track to Top Past 3 Years Combined
The United States–Mexico border wall in Organ Pipe National Park south of Ajo, Arizona, on Feb. 13, 2020. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

A U.S. Border Patrol official in Arizona is warning that illegal immigration is on track to overtake the past three years combined because of a surge of migrants at the U.S.–Mexico border.

“So right now, we’re about a hundred percent over where we were this time this last fiscal year," John Modlin, interim chief in charge of the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector, told independent journalist Sharyl Attkisson.

"We’ve already surpassed in the first four months of this fiscal year; we’ve already surpassed all of 2018. If the flow continues at the rate it is here, by the end of this fiscal year, we will have surpassed '18, '19, and '20, all combined.”

Modlin said the uptick can be blamed on the reversal by the Biden administration of President Donald Trump's immigration orders, including halting construction of the border wall, ending Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy, and others.

"At the end of 2018, 2,000 immigrants a day were being intercepted at the Southern border, prompting security concerns and a humanitarian crisis. In early 2019, the Trump administration invoked 'Migrant Protection Protocols' [Remain in Mexico], forcing those seeking asylum to wait in Mexico," he said.

"Then, in 2020, 'Title 42'—an emergency health order—let border officials immediately turn back illegal immigrants because of COVID-19."

Modlin said those orders had a significant impact, and as of May 2020, about 90 percent of illegal immigrants caught within the Southwest border were expelled.

"The number intercepted dropped from about a million in 2019, to roughly half that in 2020," he said.

In recent days, a number of officials who represent or oversee areas along the border have sounded the alarm, saying a crisis is looming.

Among them, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), issued a statement about the surge, saying, “In the last 7 days in the valley, they have stopped 10,000 individuals, and 2,500 individuals in the last two days, and many are being released” into the United States.

Meanwhile, Cuellar urged the Biden administration to listen and work with communities on the border that are facing an illegal immigrant surge.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters last week that there is no crisis at the border. President Joe Biden also issued a similar statement about a week ago, telling reporters there's no crisis.

"The men and women of the Department of Homeland Security are working around the clock seven days a week to ensure that we do not have a crisis at the border—that we manage the challenge, as acute as the challenge is," Mayorkas said.

Homeland Security officials didn't immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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