Some 30,000 migrants who crossed the southern border and were taken into federal custody have been released into the United States since January as facilities to house them have been filled to overcapacity, ex-Trump administration official Mark Morgan says.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Morgan, the former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the alarming number of releases came directly from Border Patrol. He did not elaborate.
The releases bypassed transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where families can be held for up to 20 days.
"You're not going to find that anywhere because they're locking down the information," Morgan said Tuesday after a roundtable discussion with lawmakers, ranchers, medical officials, and business leaders in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, the Examiner reported.
Citing an unnamed border patrol official, the Epoch Times reported "on any given day we may have upwards of 9,000 people in custody, which certainly puts a strain on our resources."
In an interview on CBS News’ "Face The Nation" Sunday, Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, said he learned of at least 2,000 illegal immigrants in southern Texas who were released by Border Patrol agents without having been given notice to appear in an ICE court, calling it an "unprecedented" number.
"There are some family units that have been returned to Mexico depending on the age of the kids that are with them," he said, adding that while some are returned, "over 2,000 of them have been released into the United States without a notice to appear."
Republicans, including senators who went to the border over the past weekend, said it was President Joe Biden's reversal of Trump-era asylum policies that led to the surge. They argued that because Biden moved quickly and issued executive orders, it essentially gave the green light for would-be migrants and human smugglers to act.
Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., has asserted the border crisis could be solved "in a week" by just reinstating policies put in place by former President Donald Trump.
"Just go back to doing what we were doing in December," he told Fox News on Sunday about a solution to the influx. "All you have to do is talk to the border patrol members. They'll tell you straight up. All we have to do is go back to what we were doing before President [Joe] Biden."
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