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Biden Administration Knew Border Surge Was Coming, Internal Documents Show—And Did Nothing

by Joseph Simonson

Federal agencies clocked a large buildup of migrants on the Mexican border in early September

The Department of Homeland Security was aware that a large population of migrants was preparing to cross the southern border months before a near-record number surged into the country this month, internal documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show—but appears to have taken no action to forestall an influx that has overwhelmed local officials across the United States.

The documents show that Mexican immigration authorities have seen a spike in apprehensions since May, an indication that border crossings were likely to rise, and that federal agencies documented a large buildup of migrants on the Mexican side of the border at the beginning of September.

The White House, which has struggled to counteract the surge of migrants that began when President Joe Biden took office in January of 2021, is pointing the finger at Republicans, arguing that GOP lawmakers in Congress are responsible for the problem because they have stymied the president’s proposals for immigration reform. But Biden’s problems on the southern border have put him at odds with Democratic officials, as Democratic leaders in cities like Chicago and New York have struggled to deal with tens of thousands of new arrivals, which are forcing lawmakers there to consider sharp budget cuts to pay for housing and other social services.

Neither Customs and Border Protection nor the Department of Homeland Security responded to a request for comment.

The warning signs on the Mexican side of the border came as immigration authorities recorded a record high number of migrant encounters in August. Customs and Border Protection announced last Friday evening that nearly 232,000 migrants crossed the border in August, a record for the calendar year and a nearly 27 percent increase from July.

There is little evidence the situation is set to improve, although El Paso mayor Oscar Leeser said Saturday his city is “at a breaking point.” Nearly 100,000 more migrants are traveling through Panama and Mexico with the hopes of crossing into the United States, Reuters reported last week. So many migrants have illegally boarded trains that railroad operator Union Pacific temporarily ended service in Mexico.

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