Homeland Security officials warned recently they are already seeing a surge in illegal border crossings at the United States southern border as migrants anticipate more lenient immigration enforcement policies under a Joe Biden presidency.
What are the details?
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics released last Thursday, immigration authorities made more than 69,000 arrests during the month of October, which was a 21% increase from September and marked the highest total of any October since 2005.
The high numbers were part of a trend, as illegal border crossing arrests have been steadily climbing since the summer. Immigration authorities made 47,283 arrests in August and 38,536 in July.
On a conference call with reporters Thursday, acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan noted that while many of the crossings are due to worsening economic conditions south of the border, "perceived or anticipated shifts in policies" under a Biden administration were also creating new pull factors.
Morgan warned that things would only get worse if more Trump-era policies, such Migrant Protection Protocols, which sent migrants to Mexico to await hearings, were repealed.
"If you remove MPP as well as other policies that critics have said they're going to remove, make no mistake that is going to sound the alarm that our borders are open," he said. "It'll be absolutely devastating."
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf added: "If these critical tools are removed or overturned, then the Department — and you, our frontline partners — would be imperiled by another immigration crisis."
Democratic nominee Joe Biden has pushed for a number of liberal immigration policies on the campaign trail, including a moratorium on deportations for his first 100 days in office and a road map to citizenship for 11 million illegal aliens residing in America.
"Within 100 days, I'm going to send the United States Congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people," Biden said during a debate with President Trump in October.
Morgan noted on the call that statements like that undoubtedly "sound the alarm that our borders are open," adding, "you will see a crisis that makes last year's crisis look like child's play, and you can take that to the bank."
If recent comments from immigrants facing deportation in Denver, Colorado, are emblematic of the whole, Morgan appears to be correct.
One illegal immigrant, who has lived "in sanctuary" for two years in the city and is now awaiting deportation to Mexico, told a local news outlet she hopes Biden makes changes to the immigration system for the benefit all illegal immigrants.
"My hope is this new president create change in the immigration system," she said. "Yeah, my hope is it's about time, not just for me, but for more than 11 million people."
Another, facing deportation to Peru, added: "Yes we have more hope with this president, Joe Biden. With [the Trump] administration we tried but had a lot of doors closed."