Data shows population spike at migrant detention facilities over recent weeks

Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that President Joe Biden’s alteration and reversal of prior immigration policies would result in a worsening surge of illegal migrant crossings at the southern border.

That was already proven to be true over the past several months, but new data indicates that, per Trump’s warning, the problem has significantly worsened in recent weeks, in terms of migrants held in temporary detention facilities, The Daily Wire reported.

In fact, the number of migrants being held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention has surged over the past two weeks to reach a level not seen since March 2020, when the border was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and illegal crossings and arrests plummeted over the successive months.

Numbers on the rise

That data comes from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonprofit organization that keeps close tabs on the number of migrants being held in custody in ICE detention centers, according to Border Report.

As of Thursday, July 8, there were reportedly 27,217 migrants being detained in an ICE facility, with that total appearing to be more than double what it was several weeks ago, and driven almost exclusively by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrests.

Interestingly, roughly 79% of those detained migrants, about 21,667, have no prior criminal record, suggesting their only crime worthy of detention was illegally crossing the border, which would comport with the spike in CBP arrests.

Meanwhile, in addition to the 27,217 migrants being held in ICE detention facilities around the country, Border Report noted that there were also 106,080 migrants, typically family units and single adults, who weren’t in a detention facility but instead had been released with some measure of monitoring as part of ICE’s Alternatives to Detention program.

“Title 42” public health order

Given the generally welcoming rhetoric of the Biden administration toward migrants and the reversal of nearly all of Trump’s strict border and immigration enforcement policies, some may wonder why so many migrants are still being arrested by CBP and transferred to an ICE detention facility.

That is almost certainly due to the continuation of one specific policy put in place last year by Trump that, quite surprisingly to everyone on all sides of the issue, has yet to be undone by Biden — the COVID-19-related “Title 42” public health order that allowed for an expedited process of arrest, detention, and removal for those caught illegally crossing the border due to the potential health risk they posed, The Daily Wire noted.

According to a Reuters report, President Biden has seemingly managed to box himself in with a no-win situation and anger both his allies and critics alike with regard to Title 42.

If he lifts the order in an effort to appease his allies, Biden runs the risk of the move sparking a potential COVID-19 outbreak or even prompting a larger wave of migrants at the border. Meanwhile, keeping it in place could stave off an outbreak or greater surge, but will disappoint his allies and won’t earn him credit from those who remain critical of his border and immigration policies overall.

Either way, and amid the already out-of-control border situation, Biden is in a lose-lose position — one he didn’t have to be in if he had heeded his predecessor’s warnings and not undone Trump’s accomplishments, which seemed to be purely out of partisan spite.

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