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What does the border look like a week after Biden executive action?


(NewsNation) — Nearly a week after President Joe Biden announced executive action aimed at restricting asylum, migrant numbers remain high, and officials on the front line say the legislation is not acting as a deterrent and not much has changed.

The long-anticipated presidential proclamation bars migrants from being granted asylum when U.S. officials deem that the southern border is overwhelmed. The order goes into effect when the number of border encounters between ports of entry hits 2,500 per day, according to senior administration officials.

According to the latest data obtained by NewsNation, there has not been a single day since its implementation where Border Patrol has encountered less than 2,500 migrants, exceeding that number by 1,000 nearly every day.

Officials have also indicated issues with holding capacity, triggering issues with removals.

As of Sunday, the Tucson Sector is above capacity, while San Diego continues to lead in migrant encounters and apprehensions.

This comes as border agents and officers are following specific guidance, including a processing disposition labeled “Securing the Border,” according to officials from the Department of Homeland Security.

Terrell County Sheriff Thaddeus Cleveland says Biden’s move was purely political and is not having a positive impact on the southern border whatsoever.

Cleveland says while there has been some decrease in activity at the border, he does not attribute this to Biden’s executive action.

“We’ve seen a decrease in activity, which has been fortunate for us, given us some time to kind of catch our breath and deal with some other issues,” Cleveland said. “What has transpired with this administration going from historic amounts of activity, talking about just levels of activity that we’ve never seen before and now putting a number we’re going to, you know, shut the border down to 2,500 people, you can’t just stand up for security and then shut down border security.”

Now, a lot of questions remain about how to implement the rollout of the executive action.

When the executive action was first announced last week, GOP lawmakers signaled there were enough holes in the legislation to “drive a truck through.”

Border officials are reporting they don’t have the resources or means to deport everyone, especially not people from countries in South America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

A DHS document outlined that some of the banned demographics and nationalities encountered at the border are more difficult to deport. They give priority to detaining migrants who can be easily deported, followed by harder-to-remove nationalities, which require at least five days to issue travel documents, then the very hard-to-remove nationalities whose governments don’t accept U.S. flights.

Thousands of migrants under the banned list have already been deported, according to DHS officials. However, the agency has acknowledged they just don’t have the means to deport everyone.

Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Troy Miller put out a directive to agents saying he is aware that they don’t have the resources but are advocating for the “resources and enforcement tools that the agents deserve.”