A downward trend in apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border appears to be ending. Like the predictable summer monsoons, a seasonal rise in northbound migration is on the horizon.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports that apprehensions edged up in February after a seven-month decline. Unaccompanied alien children and single adults led the way.
Despite U.S. warnings that illegal entrants “will be promptly removed and returned,” a new migrant wave appears to be swelling, just as it did in early 2019.
What’s worse, migrant caravans winding their way up from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are said to be transporting criminal aliens. According to news reports, Central American gang members hiding in the caravans have been committing crimes in Mexico along the way.
A Salvadoran intelligence group has identified some of the criminal migrants as gang members wanted for homicide, kidnapping, extortion and terrorism. Mexican authorities branded the convoys a “Devil’s Caravan.”
Increased caravan activity is doubly dangerous, considering the ongoing public-health implications. Concerns have become more acute amid coronavirus outbreaks south of the border.
In a sign of things to come, CBP last month temporarily shut down a border crossing in El Paso to prevent migrants from rushing into the Port of Entry (POE). Noting that POEs are neither designed nor equipped to handle large groups of migrants, CBP officials said more such closures could be required to protect “public safety and border security.”