(Washington) More than two million migrants who entered the United States illegally were arrested at the border with Mexico during the year 2021, according to official statistics, a record level.
Posted at 7:02 p.m.
More than 180,000 were arrested in December, according to figures released Monday, bringing the annual total to a new high.
The Republican Party immediately accused Democratic President Joe Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris of creating a “historic humanitarian crisis”.
“Under their leadership, cartels and smugglers are proliferating, border guards are overwhelmed and our communities are less safe,” party official Ronna McDaniel added in a statement.
Migration flows, which fell sharply at the start of the pandemic, had started to increase again before Joe Biden took office a year ago, but clearly jumped afterwards.
The Democrat had initially tried to minimize them, speaking of a seasonal phenomenon. The record arrivals this summer, with around 200,000 arrests in July and August when desert crossings are the most dangerous, had proven him wrong.
These arrivals pose a considerable human, logistical and financial challenge to the Democratic administration, in particular because it has undertaken not to turn back unaccompanied minors.
His efforts to overhaul the migration system are bogged down in Congress and the subject is expected to be a major issue in the midterm elections in November.