Border Patrol had more than 23,000 migrants in custody as of Tuesday evening while releasing more than 6,000 others into the interior of the country, according to internal Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The latest data provide a window into a record daily totals of illegal immigration at the southern border in recent days. Three border sectors, Del Rio, Rio Grande Valley and Tucson, exceeded capacity as of Tuesday night, according to the data.
The Del Rio sector, which is home to Eagle Pass, Texas, hit 265% capacity with more than 5,200 migrants in custody as of Tuesday night, according to the data. The Tucson sector in Arizona hit 160% capacity, while the Rio Grande Valley was at 103% capacity.
The largest share of migrants, more than 6,100, entering illegally are from Venezuela, according to the data.
The Biden administration announced deportation flights to Venezuela in October as migrants from the socialist country poured over the southern border in large numbers.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) closed railway operations in Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas, “in order to redirect personnel to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody,” the agency said Sunday.
The latest surge has coincided with stalled negotiations in Congress over border security funding tied with military aid for Ukraine. The Biden administration is reportedly considering bringing back a Title 42-type measure to quickly expel certain migrants in an effort to reach bipartisan consensus.
Border Patrol encounters of illegal migrants at the southern border exceeded 2 million in fiscal year 2023 and 2.2 million, the highest level on record, in fiscal year 2022.
“The encounter levels we are currently seeing across the southwest border are presenting a serious challenge to the men and women of CBP. To meet this challenge, we are using all available resources to ensure the safety and security of our agents and officers, and the migrants who are often misled and victimized by the transnational criminal organizations,” Troy A. Miller, senior official performing the duties of the commissioner of CBP said in a statement to the DCNF.
“These smugglers are recklessly putting migrants into harm’s way: in remote locations across the border, onto the tops of trains, or into the waters of the Rio Grande River. We continue to go after the smugglers and are implementing new measures to impose consequences on transportation companies including bus and van lines used by smuggling organizations and nefarious actors to move migrants through northern Mexico and to our southwest border. CBP and our federal partners need additional funding from Congress so that we can continue to effectuate consequences for those who do not use the established pathways,” Miller added.
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