Del Rio Sector in Texas has seen a 300 percent increase in illegal immigrants over the last year, its Border Patrol chief said on Wednesday — with over 2,000 migrants encountered in just a few days.
“Over 2,240 illegal aliens have been encountered in Del Rio Sector over the past three days alone,” Chief Patrol Agent Austin Skero tweeted. “These arrests contribute to the nearly 300% increase in apprehensions over last year.”
“This increase is far higher than the normal seasonal fluctuations we traditionally see,” he said.
The Biden administration has been scrambling to tackle a surge in migrant numbers at the border. Customs and Border Protection encountered more than 100,000 migrants in February, and it has more than 5,000 migrant children in Border Patrol custody.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said this month that the U.S. was on track to encounter more migrants than it had in 20 years, but the administration has so far refused to call it a crisis — instead describing it as a “challenge” as it seeks to reverse Trump-era immigration policies.
On Thursday, President Biden downplayed the crisis, saying that the U.S. sees surges every winter.
“Nothing has changed. Happens every single solitary years. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border…in the winter months,” he said.
He also stood by the reversal of Trump-era policies like the Migrant Protection Protocols — which critics have said has increased the amount of migrants coming to the border.
“First of all, all the policies that were underway were not helping at all, did not slow up the amount of immigration,” Biden said. “Rolling back the policies of separating children from their mothers? Make no apology for that.”
“Rolling back the policies of “Remain in Mexico,’ sitting on the edge of the Rio Grande in a muddy circumstance with not enough to eat? I make no apologies for that,” Biden said. “I make no apologies for ending programs that did not exist before Trump became president that have an incredibly negative impact on the law — international law — as well as on human dignity. And so I make no apologies for that.”
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.