Nearly 1,000 people every day are illegally entering the United States without being detected or taken into custody by Border Patrol agents, the Washington Post reported Friday.
The migrants have reportedly been able to sneak past immigration enforcement officers who are busy attending to migrant families and unaccompanied children while also trying to stop soaring numbers of male adults from entering the country, three anonymous U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials reportedly told the Post.
The shocking news paints a picture of a worsening crisis at the southern border as increasing numbers of single adults are taking advantage of a preoccupied border protection force.
The Post also reported Friday that border crossings last month reached more than 171,000 — the highest mark in 15 years. The figure shows a remarkable increase in border crossings this year — up from 78,442 in January — and an even greater increase from the same time last year, when only 34,460 border crossings were recorded in March, according to CBP data.
The Post reported that while CBP doesn't claim ever to have interdicted every border crosser, the number of "got aways" has reached unprecedented levels in recent weeks, especially as the number of single adult border crossers has risen. The report stated that 99,000 single adults were caught by agents last month.
CBP defines a "got away" as an unlawful border crosser who is observed entering the country but is not turned back or apprehended by Border Patrol agents. The agency employs sophisticated surveillance technology — including drones, cameras, and solar-powered portable towers — to monitor and track border crossings.
Smuggling organizations, well aware of the fact that Border Patrol agents are already stretched thin, are reportedly splitting up larger groups into smaller ones to further stretch the limited number of agents available to confront border crossers.
One agent, who spoke anonymously because the Biden administration has not authorized agents to speak to reporters, said smuggling organizations are sending "small groups of two, three or four, and that quickly occupies all the agents available to go after them."
"There are maybe 20 groups a day that are observed, but there's nobody to try to go after them," the agent added. "They just keep walking until they're out of sight."
The Post noted that the number of got aways entering the country each day is the highest in recent memory.