Crisis at the border: Migrants, smugglers, drugs enter U.S.

(NewsNation) — Ahead of President Joe Biden’s planned trip to El Paso, Texas, this weekend, his administration announced it would immediately begin turning away Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. 

The concerns come as a record number of migrants — men, women and children — have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since Biden took office, leaving many wondering if Biden’s new policy will help curb such crossings in the future.  

Thus far, Border Patrol agents have been detaining tens of thousands of migrants who have made treks from a variety of nations — Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and as far away as Russia — and crossed the border in desperate attempts to enter the U.S. 

Since Biden took office, more than five million illegal immigrants have crossed the U.S. border. Additionally, according to Customs and Border Protection data, more than two million undocumented immigrants crossed the U.S. southern border just last year. 

In November alone, a record 233,000 migrants were apprehended, averaging out to about 65,000 border encounters per day.

In many cases, it’s smugglers leading the way. Thousands of migrants pay big money to be guided to the U.S. border, some using holes, tunnels and insufficient fencing to cross over into the U.S.

Former Arizona Governor Doug Ducey resorted to using shipping containers to try to stem the flood of migrants into the state. He was sued and the wall will come down.

Some of those breaks in the border have been used to transport illegal drugs into the U.S. In September of last year, Border Patrol agents discovered more than 2,000 pounds of fentanyl

Arizona officials say at least half of the drugs making it into the country are flowing through Arizona’s border at the hands of the cartels.

Most of the migrants are processed by Border Patrol, which runs biometrics that includes fingerprinting and records checks. But when it comes to certain criminal history, those checks don’t always work.

The crisis at the border is made worse by a shortage of Border Patrol agents who find themselves overwhelmingly outnumbered, as agents have been forced to focus more on processing and transporting migrants rather than patrolling the border.

In an effort to beef up security to get one step ahead of the influx of migrants, Border Patrol doubled the hiring incentive from $10,000 to $20,000 for new recruits.

So far, immigrants who’ve successfully crossed the border have been spread throughout the U.S., sent by planes and buses to cities including Chicago, New York, Denver and Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, the immigration case backlog in U.S. courts sits at two million, meaning it could be awhile before the juidiciary gets step ahead of the migrant influx.