Acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Mark Morgan is labeling the illegal migration situation at the U.S.-Mexico border the “worst in modern times.”
According to Morgan — who served as the Border Patrol chief at the tail end of the Obama administration — the influx of migrants trying to come into the U.S. illegally could cause apprehension numbers to reach 1 million for the fiscal year 2019, the Washington Examiner reported.
Morgan’s prediction comes at a time when border officials continue to be overwhelmed at the southern border, with over 100,000 migrant apprehensions each month since March. According to the acting ICE director, border officials apprehended 109,000 migrants in May, with two-thirds being family units.
With this massive increase of migrants at the southern border, 65 percent of those will be released into the U.S., according to Morgan — predicting roughly 650,000 immigrants in total for the fiscal year, which is the largest in a single year.
“I believe that this is the worst in modern times that we’ve experienced because of the demographic issue,” Morgan declared at ICE headquarters. “That being the family units and unaccompanied minors that are coming across illegally.”
Acting ICE Director Mark Morgan: "We are absolutely experiencing both a humanitarian & national security crisis at the SW border … I believe that this is the worst in modern times that we’ve experienced bc of the demographic issue … the family units and unaccompanied minors."
— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) June 4, 2019
“Sometimes people want to say, ‘The numbers back in the late ’90s and early 2000s were a little bit higher,'” Morgan continued. “But the reason for that, right, those were mainly single adult males and we were expediting the removals of those individuals.”
“When I was back as chief of the U.S. Border Patrol in 2016 — and former Secretary Jeh Johnson has been on the record saying this — a bad day for him was a thousand [arrests]. And I know that and remember that ’cause that was a bad day for me. They’re looking at 4,500 a day along the southwest border. Again, those numbers are unprecedented.”
The current U.S. immigration system under the Flores Settlement Agreement allows migrant children to be in custody up to 20 days, resulting in families then being released into the U.S.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has proposed to fix the asylum process by changing the detention period to 100 days so that migrants’ claims are processed fairly, allowing families to also stay together during the legal process, as IJR Red previously dove into further.