More than 100,000 illegal immigrants managed to evade U.S. authorities and reach the interior of the country in the current fiscal year through May, the chief of U.S. Border Patrol told Congress Thursday, the most in five years.
“This high level of ‘got aways’ is a direct result of agents being reassigned away from the frontline to provide humanitarian support to the unprecedented numbers of individuals and families in custody,” Chief Carla Provost told the House Homeland Security Committee, Washington Times reported
The “got aways” are illegal aliens that border agents detected but were unable to stop from crossing the border.
Provost said the number of got-aways might have been worse if President Trump had not sent National Guard troops to assist Border Patrol agents.
“That support as my agents are being pulled away to deal with the humanitarian crisis is key to us having situational awareness on the border,” she said.
The troops are not allowed to engage in policing. They are performing support tasks, including monitoring cameras and scopes and providing air support for border authorities.
Last month, National Guard troops in Texas reported to Border Patrol agents a group of migrants rafting across the Rio Grande. Later, it was discovered that each migrant had paid up to $10,000 to be smuggled into the U.S.
Democrats and some Republicans in Congress oppose the deployment of National Guard troops to the border, saying it detracts from their security mission.
President Trump said Monday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement will begin deporting “millions” of illegal aliens next week.
“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people,” the president tweeted.
He said Guatemala also is cooperating.
“The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress. They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!” he added.