Eagle Pass, Texas Mayor Luis Sifuentes said border agents in his area have been catching about 300 illegal immigrants a day in his town along the Rio Grande.
“What affects our community is that there’s residential areas within a few hundred feet of the river and so many of these individuals crossing illegally will tend to try to hide in residential neighborhoods and homes and backyards and patios, and that’s a big concern to our community and our residents,” Sifuentes told host John Roberts.
He noted several law enforcement agencies are trying to address the problem, including the local police and sheriff’s departments, as well as more that 50 state highway patrol officers Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, R., sent to help border patrol protect the area from illegal immigrants.
Biden has scrapped a number of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, which included wall construction and having asylum seekers remain in Mexico instead of staying in the U.S. while they wait for their cases to be heard. The moves have led to a record surge in migrants, including unaccompanied minors, that has strained capacity at immigration facilities in recent weeks.
Sifuentes said he is calling on President Biden to end catch-and-release.
Sifuentes warned that illegal immigrants are sending the message to those back in their country that they are being caught and then released, which he argued is “just going to bring in more people coming to our border.”
He noted that he has seen an increase in migrants crossing the border and acknowledged that “it’s nothing new to us” given they see that on a yearly basis.
“It’s a seasonal thing, but the numbers, the way they are going, it’s really going to far exceed what it was even in 2019 so this catch-and-release policy is not the answer,” Sifuentes said, noting that “we’re all for legal immigration” when migrants “follow a process.”
Sifuentes pointed to Title 42 public health protections, implemented last year by the Trump administration, where the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) policy indicated that single adults and family units were expelled to Mexico.
“I think that’s the right thing to do because that’s where they sought asylum first,” Sifuentes said.
“Title 42 is key right now,” he stressed. “We have asked President Biden’s office again and again. We cannot allow catch-and-release. It sends the wrong message to other countries and that’s why we are continuing to see a bigger surge right now.”
A Biden spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.