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Border Patrol Chief Anticipates Increase in Border Encounters, Expects Surge in Coming Months

via NBC News

During an interview, Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens indicated apprehensions of migrants at the US-Mexico border are on track to exceed 2 million in the current fiscal year.

When asked if apprehensions would hit 2 million again, as they have the past two years, Owens said “if that trend follows, then yes.” He sees “no reason for it to change what it’s doing.”

CBS Reporter Camilo Montoya-Galvez asked, “In each of the past two fiscal years, Border Patrol, your agency, has recorded over 2 million migrant apprehensions. Are you on track to do so again?”

Owens also expects a surge of migrants in the coming months as temperatures rise, consistent with seasonal trends.

Owens said, “Yeah, so, we’re coming up on the end of the first half of the fiscal year, and we’re approaching 1 million apprehensions so far.”

“So, yes?” Montoya-Galvez asked.

Owens said, “If that trend follows, then yes.”

Montoya-Galvez said, “And do you expect it to follow that trend?”

Owens said, “I see no reason for it to change what it’s doing.”

Montoya-Galvez later asked, “Historically, during this time of the year, migration to the U.S. border increases. Are you expecting an influx in the Spring, and are you ready to respond to it?”

He said Border Patrol prepares for increased “humanitarian need” as more people find themselves in dangerous conditions, requiring agents to respond.

Based on current apprehension levels nearing 1 million halfway through the fiscal year and typical seasonal patterns, Owens does not foresee the high number of apprehensions slowing down.

Owens said, “Based on the trends, we typically do expect that, as you — as we come into the summer months, the numbers will go up, so I see no reason to think that it wouldn’t. I’m always happy to be surprised and have that not be the case, but yes, because one of the things that we always prepare for, there’s an increase in the humanitarian need.”

“They find themselves out in these extreme temperatures and these very inhospitable conditions that we talk about, and they get into trouble. And usually, … the first people and people that respond and pull them out of danger are Border Patrol agents,” he said.

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