Migrant Surge 'On Pace to Break All Records,' Border Patrol Union President Says

Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, said that the surge of migrants is "on pace to break all records" in the history of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

President Joe Biden's administration is facing significant pressure from Republicans and some Democrats as the number of Central American migrants coming to the southern U.S. border with Mexico has increased significantly in the past couple months. While the administration has pushed back against the concerns, pointing out that surges happen routinely, critics argue that Biden's policy changes have led to the uptick in migrants.

"We're in a situation that we've never been in in my 23 and a half years as a border patrol agent. We're on pace to break all—all records in the history of the border patrol," Judd told Fox News in a Monday interview.

The border patrol union president argued that ending former President Donald Trump's "remain in Mexico" policy should not have happened until the Biden administration had the proper facilities and systems set up to address the additional migrants.

Brandon Judd
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd speaks during an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on February 14, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"We can clearly tell you, this is what's happening on the ground and the policies are not working as of right now," Judd added.

In February, CBP agents apprehended just a little over 100,000 migrants—a substantial increase compared to the less than 80,000 detained in January but not as high as the nearly 150,000 detained in May 2019.

Under Trump, there were four months in 2019 that had surges of more than 100,000 migrants, despite exceptionally hardline immigrations policies. Whether the number of apprehensions reaches a record in 2021 remains to be seen, but the bar is high.

In 2000, CBP apprehended nearly 1.7 million migrants and the annual number had been declining since then, until an uptick in the past few years. In 2017, there were about 310,000 apprehensions, followed by more than 400,000 in 2018, nearly 860,000 in 2019 and then close to 550,000 last year.

But Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said last week that the U.S. is heading for a 20-year high in migrants coming to the border.

"We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years. We are expelling most single adults and families. We are not expelling unaccompanied children," Mayorkas said in a statement last Wednesday.

Mayorkas pushed back against criticism of the new administration's approach to immigration in an interview with NBC News' Meet the Press on Sunday. He blamed the Trump administration for leaving a mess that needs to be fixed.

"We have a short-term plan, a medium-term plan, and a long-term plan, and the president and I have spoken to this repeatedly. Please remember something, that President Trump dismantled the orderly, humane and efficient way of allowing children to make their claims under United States law in their home countries," Mayorkas said.

A major issue is the massive number of unaccompanied minors that have come to the border. The Biden administration is not deporting these children. Instead they are being temporarily detained in detention facilities until they can be transferred to the care of family members residing in the U.S. or other caretakers.

Although this is supposed to happen within 72 hours, Axios reported on Monday that hundreds have been held in detention for more than 10 days while thousands more have been held for at least five days.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not immediately receive a response.