On Friday, September 15th, a significant display of public concern occurred as citizens protested the arrival and housing of migrants in Tucson, Arizona. Migrants from African nations such as Senegal, Mauritania, Ghana, and Sudan have recently crossed into the United States from Mexico and are among the thousands being released to the streets of Southwest border towns due to overcapacity in federal processing centers. This surge in crossings has placed immense strain on the nation.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported a significant increase in Southwest border encounters every fiscal year. As of this year, nearly 2 million crossings have been recorded in the region, excluding the months of August and September. Cochise County, Arizona, is experiencing an influx of migrants transported from other counties due to President Joe Biden’s policies. Sheriff Mark Dannels criticized the leadership in Washington, D.C., for their handling of the southern border situation. He said, “The intellectual avoidance and abandonment with intended consequences by those leaders in Washington, D.C.…continues to be a slippery slope for those doing everything we can to protect our quality of life here in Cochise County!”
The migrants being released are not originally from Cochise County but were transported there for processing before being released. Dannels expressed his appreciation for the local Customs and Border Protection agents and their efforts during this crisis. It remains uncertain how many migrants the processing facilities in Tucson can accommodate or how many have been relocated to other areas like Cochise County.
Many of the migrants crossing from Mexico originate from the African nation of Senegal, which is nearly 10,000 miles from Arizona. These African immigrants often seek refuge in America to escape political strife and economic challenges. The U.S. border has witnessed a diverse range of migrants, not just from Central and South American countries like Venezuela and Mexico but also from nations like China.
The 2022 fiscal year recorded a staggering 2,378,944 migrant encounters at the Southwest border from October to September. In contrast, 2023 saw 1,973,092 encounters up to July, with a significant increase following the expiration of Title 42. The number of crossings has surged in recent years, with only 458,088 reported in 2020 during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of these encounters involve single adults, but a significant portion consists of family units and unaccompanied minors. CBP records from Tucson’s field office indicate a record number of Title 8 inadmissibles in July 2023, with 3,346 migrants being deported and banned from entering the U.S. for a minimum of five years.
In August, DailyMail.com reported that the U.S. Border Patrol was holding migrants in outdoor cages in Arizona’s intense desert heat due to overcapacity issues. Similar situations are occurring across the southern border, with street releases happening in areas like the San Diego sector and Santa Cruz County, California.
To address the border crisis, southern governors, including Texas’ Greg Abbott and Florida’s Ron DeSantis, have been transporting migrants to northern cities like New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
New York City, in particular, has been overwhelmed by the influx of migrants, leading to the conversion of hotels and schools into shelters. Mayor Eric Adams has estimated the migrant crisis will cost New York $12 billion over the next three years and has criticized President Biden for the lack of support.
The migrant situation at the U.S. border is expected to continue to escalate, with various regions grappling with the challenges of accommodating and processing the increasing numbers. The response from both local and federal authorities remains a topic of contention and concern.