A Border Patrol official estimated that more than 1 million illegal immigrants are expected to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021 as the White House grapples with how to find facilities and process them.
Border Patrol apprehended approximately 100,000 illegal immigrants in February, which is the highest number since February 2019, Ortiz said. He noted that people try to illegally cross into the U.S. between April and June.
“It’s out of my hands,” he said. “For whatever reason, they have fallen through the system or through the cracks.”
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday issued a statement criticizing human smuggling attempts into the United States.
“The inhumane way smugglers abuse children while profiting off parents’ desperation is criminal and morally reprehensible,“ Mayorkas said. ”Just this month, a young girl died by drowning, a six-month-old was thrown into the river, and two young children were dropped from a wall and left in the desert alone.”
“There can be no doubt that children are exceptionally vulnerable when placed in the hands of smugglers. There is grave risk they will be exploited and harmed. I applaud our heroic Border Patrol agents who have saved lives this week and every week, while putting their own lives at risk for the greater good of the country.”
It comes after a video released by a Border Patrol official in New Mexico showed human smugglers dropping two young girls over a 14-foot-tall border barrier before abandoning them.
According to a news release from Border Patrol, the two girls were sisters from Ecuador. When agents came upon them, they rendered aid, officials said, before they were taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation and were later “medically cleared.” The young girls were then put in a temporary holding facility.