Former U.S. CBP director: the number of illegal border crossings rose sharply to 150,000 in March

Border Patrol agents apprehend seven illegal immigrants trying to evade capture at the Texas border on March 15, 2021.

Former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Director Mark Morgan said the Border Patrol apprehended more than 150,000 illegal border crossers in March, 50,000 more than in February.

Morgan said about 30,000 more evaded capture, according to provisional CBP figures he received from inside sources.

The total number of arrests in March, during the recent border crisis, has been slightly higher than the highest arrest month of 2019, when the Border Patrol apprehended 144,000 illegal immigrants between ports of entry in May 2019.

“The border is wide open … it’s not safe. Drugs are pouring in, foreign criminals are pouring in.” Morgan said during a March 30 news conference on the banks of the Rio Grande.

In his first news conference since taking office, President Joe Biden said March 25 that his focus is on “rebuilding a system that can respond to today’s conditions.

The administration has opened several detention facilities for illegal immigrants, particularly in response to the surge in children crossing the border alone. The San Diego Convention Center currently holds 500 children, while another 500 were sent to Fort Bliss on March 30. In all, more than 12,000 children are being held by CBP and the Department of health and Human Services.

Asked about the spike in illegal border crossings, Biden said, “I like to think it’s because I’m a good person, but that’s not the case. Because it’s something that happens every year.”

Morgan said the current surge cannot be explained away as a normal seasonal uptick.

“They created this crisis, they’re trying to twist the facts and blame everybody but themselves,” Morgan said, “and the fact is, the only reality on the horizon is that we’re going to see numbers we haven’t seen in more than two decades.”

Former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Director Morgan speaks at a news conference in Michen, Texas, on March 30, 2021.

On March 26, a senior Border Patrol official said in a telephone interview that up to 85 percent of the 2,200 Family members arrested the previous day for crossing the border illegally were released into the United States.

The official said that if Parents have children under the age of 7 with them, they are automatically released into the country rather than deported under the health emergency provisions of Title 42 of the U.S. Code (Title 42).

At the Time of the transition, Morgan said, CBP had provided Biden’s transition team with a “thorough briefing” warning them that if Biden terminated the Migrant Protection Protocol program and the asylum cooperation agreement with the Northern Triangle countries (i.e., Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala), they would face an “unmitigated crisis.

“We tell them over and over again. We tell them that the influx will skyrocket and that the border patrol facilities will be overwhelmed.”