More than 20,000 illegal migrants were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, in one week as federal detention facilities in the area were holding nearly double their intended capacity, My RGV reported Sunday.
Around 7,000 migrants were detained at Border Patrol facilities as of Sunday, despite the regional capacity of around 3,000, according to My RGV. Federal officials reportedly held an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the high numbers of detainees.
“It’s the hottest part of the summer and apprehensions are skyrocketing!” Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Border Patrol Agent Brian Hastings said Sunday. “NOW- this week alone – RGV has apprehended more than 20K illegally present migrants.”
It’s the hottest part of the summer and apprehensions are skyrocketing! #USBP Apprehensions surpassed the 1-million milestone in June.
— Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings (@USBPChiefRGV) July 25, 2021
Around 5,000 migrants were in Border Patrol custody in the Rio Grande Valley as of July 19, Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar said, My RGV reported. The number of migrants in custody rose to over-capacity levels around July 14, when some 3,500 people were reportedly detained in the area.
The number of encounters was widely expected to decrease at the beginning of summer, My RGV reported. However, border officials encountered nearly 190,000 migrants in June, up from around 180,000 in May, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Around 58% of migrants encountered were rapidly expelled under the Trump-era public health order Title 42, while thousands of others were taken to shelters or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities, according to My RGV. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Immigrants Cross The Rio Grande By The Hundreds Every Day. A Handful Of Border Agents Are There To Meet Them)
“In the past week, we’ve seen an increase of families at our site,” Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Respite Center Executive Director Sister Norma Pimentel told My RGV. The shelter received a high of 1,200 migrants in one day last week before decreasing to a daily average of 800.
Pimentel is working with the city of McAllen to expand shelter operations to a larger facility ahead of any federal decisions to lift Title 42 expulsions, according to My RGV. However, the Biden administration is expected to keep Title 42 in place until the end of August, The Monitor reported Wednesday.
Federal officials temporarily stopped transferring migrants encountered in the Rio Grande Valley to facilities in Laredo, Texas, after the city filed a lawsuit and Webb County issued a disaster declaration against the practice, My RGV reported.
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