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Politics Biden officials say worsening border stats ‘overstate’ problem because of repeat crossers

01:00  11 june  2021
01:00  11 june  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Biden administration officials defended another month of extremely high numbers of unauthorized crossings at the southern border in May, blaming the statistics for overstating and misrepresenting the situation.

a group of people standing in front of a building © Provided by Washington Examiner

Federal law enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico boundary encountered 180,034 people who tried to enter the country illegally in May, the highest number in more than two decades. The May total was up from 178,622 in April and 172,331 in March. Still, administration officials who spoke with reporters in a call Thursday afternoon said law enforcement is seeing the same people more than once in a month. Hence, the numbers are not indicative of the underlying situation.

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“There's a difference between encounters and individuals,” said an official who was authorized to speak with media anonymously. “There are, right now, an unusual number of repeat crossers, but the number of actual individuals who attempt to cross is down from April and a little over 20,000 lower than May of 2019.”

A Department of Homeland Security official who separately testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations during the White House call defended the 180,000-encounter figure on the same basis.

CANADA OPEN TO RESETTLING CENTRAL AMERICANS WHO ARRIVE AT U.S.-MEXICO BORDER

“While recent encounter numbers are high, they also somewhat overstate migration flows, particularly among single adults,” DHS Assistant Secretary for Border Security and Immigration David Shahoulian wrote in his opening statement.

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In May, more than 121,000 of the 180,000 encounters were single adults. The 121,000 figure is nearly six times the 21,000 adults seen in May of 2020. Shahoulian said more people are trying to get in because they know they will not be referred for prosecution for unlawful entry because the United States is not detaining illegal immigrants amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Thirty-eight percent of the 121,000 adults in May had previously been caught trying to enter the country at least once in the past 12 months. Typically 15% of adults are repeat offenders, but more are falling into the recidivism pool likely because they know they won't be prosecuted.

“DHS sees significantly higher-than-normal repeated crossing attempts. In other words, the Department is often encountering the same individual multiple times after being encountered and expelled from the United States,” his prepared remarks state.

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A second person on the White House call cited declines in the number of migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras crossing the border, which dropped from 30,000 in April to 22,000 in May. However, the officials did not note that the number of people arriving in family groups has quadrupled since January, increasing from 3,500 to nearly 19,000 in May.

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The number of unaccompanied children who arrived in May dropped by roughly 3,000 from April to May and came in at more than 10,000. The government is operating 10 emergency shelters nationwide to hold the children while it searches for an adult in the U.S. to release them to.

Tags: News, Joe Biden, Central America, Border Crisis, Immigration, White House

Original Author: Anna Giaritelli

Original Location: Biden officials say worsening border stats ‘overstate’ problem because of repeat crossers

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usr: 1
This is interesting!