Arrests at the US-Mexico border are on pace to shatter previous apprehension numbers. Border state governors who blame Biden administration policies are now taking matters into their own hands, and one tactic has kicked off a feud with a northern mayor.
From buses to shipping containers, the governors of Texas and Arizona are using whatever they can to protest President Biden's immigration policies as the U.S. is close to topping 2 million border arrests for the first time ever.
Last week, tractor trailers moved some of those shipping containers into position in Yuma, AZ as the state looked to fill a 1,000-foot gap in the border wall. The containers will be topped with razor wire, with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey tweeting last week, "Arizona has had enough. We can't wait any longer."
Shipping containers are being used in Arizona and Texas to plug gaps in the border fence.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is also feuding with the Biden administration. Both Ducey and Abbott have bused migrants from their states to Washington, D.C., and New York City, a move that Abbott doubled down on at the CPAC conference in August.
"There are more busses on the way as we gather at this conference today," Abbott said at the time.
The move has enraged New York City Mayor Eric Adams who called the busing of asylum seekers "horrific."
"It's unimaginable what the governor of Texas has done. When you think about this country, a country that has always been open to those who were fleeing persecution and other intolerable conditions," Adams said this week after more buses arrived.
Border Patrol agents have made more than 1.8 million arrests this fiscal year. The number beats last year's record with two months to go. About 70% of the stops are single adults likely looking for work.
The numbers come as the Biden administration has undone or rolled back significant Trump-era immigration policies. The "Remain in Mexico" policy that required asylum seekers to stay in Mexico until their court hearing has been ended. But Title 42, a policy that denies migrants asylum because of the COVID pandemic, remains in effect for now due to court rulings.
"The administration wants to end the program, they announced that back in April, but a court has ordered they keep it in place. So the administration complies in a minimal fashion, but they're not interested in such enforcement tools," said Lora Ries of The Heritage Foundation.
Analysts believe that the numbers are partially, and maybe surprisingly, driven by Title 42 even though the policy is meant to turn people away from the border. Title 42 does not penalize people for repeated border crossings. Border Patrol estimates that about 1 in 4 of the people who are apprehended have tried to re-enter the U.S. repeatedly over the past year.