The Biden administration is requesting billions in additional funding for the border as it predicts a huge increase in migrant encounters when Title 42 authority to expeditiously remove migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic ends in late of this month.
According to a congressional aide, the Biden administration is seeking $2 billion for additional funding for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as well as $2 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Fox tells him that that request is based on the Department of Homeland Security’s estimate of daily encounters once Title 42 ends on December 21. A court ordered the administration to stop using the authority, which has been used since March 2020 to quickly return migrants to Mexico, after discovering it was illegal.
That “flow estimate” predicts between 9,000 and 15,000 migrant crossings per day once Title 42 ends. For context, the average for fiscal year 2022, which saw a record 2.3 million migrant crossings , was approximately 6500 crossings per day.
FOX NEWS VIDEO SHOWS MASS RELEASE OF MIGRANTS IN US AS NUMBERS REACH 500,000 BY FY 23
The $4 billion funding request would fund “border management” and would be used by DHS for soft facilities, migrant care, transportation, processing, and the Emergency Food and Shelter program. That’s part of a six-point plan the administration has released that includes increased resources for the border, anti-smuggling operations and greater use of alternative removal authorities, such as expedited removal.
The request comes as authorities at the border have already been overwhelmed by the high numbers they have encountered in recent weeks. Fox News reported Tuesday that there have already been more than 500,000 encounters this fiscal year, which began in October. There have been over 505,000 encounters, averaging just under 7,000 per day. Of those, 162,547 have been removed under Title 42.
That number is on track to surpass previous years. There were 517,000 encounters at the end of December in FY 2022 and FY 21, where there were just over 216,000 in the same period. In fiscal year 2020, there were only 458,058 encounters for the entire fiscal year.
Fox News captured footage this week of migrants being released in El Paso after a huge caravan of migrants reached the border on Monday; dozens of migrants could be seen camping in one corner.
Agents in the El Paso Sector have made 2,416 encounters in the last 24 hours. A Border Patrol agent told Fox that the numbers “continue to overwhelm exhausted Border Patrol agents, who continue to do their best despite an evident lack of support and leadership.”
MIGRANT CARAVAN OF MORE THAN 1,000 CROSSES ILLEGALLY INTO EL PASO, TEXAS, SHOWS VIDEO
CBP acknowledged that it has seen an increase in encounters along the border in recent days.
“The El Paso sector of Customs and Border Protection on the Texas-Mexico border has seen an increase in encounters,” CBP said in a statement to Fox News Monday afternoon. “To process people as safely and quickly as possible, Big Bend Border Patrol agents and CBP officers from the El Paso Field Office are assisting with processing.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Meanwhile, in Brownsville, Texas, Fox News witnessed repeated mass releases of several hundred migrants in a parking lot. The migrants were dropped off by the hundreds, at which point they walked to a local non-governmental organization where their travel documentation was handed over. From there they are free to take a flight or bus across the country.
Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Griff Jenkins contributed to this report.