As I understand, MPP started in early 2019; and while there’s no detailed data on exactly how many were - it seems sound 70,000 people were moved to Mexico out of 300,000 who applied for affirmative or defensive asylum.
CBP data indicates that in CY2019, ~790k people were apprehended crossing the border. (850 in FY2019),
Data also indicates the average daily ice/CBP custody population was around 50k by the end of 2019 with an average stay of 34.3 days. Meaning around 600k went through detention facilities.
Ice removed 267,000 people in 2019. This includes border removals (but not title 42 removals - which only started early 2020)
So, out of 790k people crossing the border, 70k went to Mexico, 50k are held in detention centres - at most 267k of the detained were sent home (probably much less - as this number includes deportations from those already in the US) leaving around 400,000 illegal immigrants in the system not in detention. The numbers I’ve found for releases from ice detention on bond, or recognizance - rather than released across the border was around 263k.
This is to say that suggestion that MPP or ending “catch and release” (2017/2018) had a huge impact doesn’t seem to match the data; there’s possibly some movement, but for 800k people, a few tens of thousands here and there isn’t going to make much of a dent.
A big factor in 2020 - was Trumps section 42 expulsions - where individuals can basically be driven back across the border and dropped off - and the pandemic, which dropped everything through the floor - and illegal immigration has been picking up since Augusta last year.
In 2021. There are slightly fewer families and more unaccompanied kids than in 2019; but the big difference is single adults; which are way way up. In 2019 recidivism in crossing was at around 7%, and is currently around 38% recently. While it’s unclear the previous rates for previous months; this appears a pretty significant factor in the volume current number of crossings - single adults crossing multiple times because section 42 gives no appreciable repercussions for multiple crossing attempts. With crossings beginning to rise before any policy was actually changed.
The claim that various policies is deterring people from crossing doesn’t seem to really compute. If family separation didn’t significantly reduce family crossings - it’s hard to believe that processing a fraction of asylum claims in Mexico, or only releasing a huge fraction of asylum claims on bond instead of a slightly huger fraction would move the needle by much.
Poor conditions, violence, in various Latin American countries are producing a supply of people willing to risk the trek to the border; the risk of getting to and crossing the border with the potential of being caught is only going to deter people if the worst case result of making the trip is worse than what would happen if they stay.
The only thing Trump has done that could have impacted this decision was family separation: and if that didn’t move the needle: I’m sure as sh*t that the possibility that they’d be deported to Mexico isn’t going to either. You may find that just being a New Democratic president who isn’t a colossal d**k hole is going to boost the numbers just by traffickers being able to claim immigrants will be welcomed in open arms. Hell, all these news reports from right wing news and social media saying that the border is now completely open, that all these illegal immigrants are being let in unchallenged, and everyone’s being welcomed in with open arms, and will be granted welfare is probably more to blame than any individual change of policy. Hondurans watching Tucker Carlson screeds on Facebook about how nothing is being done are probably thinking that now is a pretty good time to make the crossing after all.
In terms of level of crisis; rightly or wrongly. Biden is still keeping title 42 expulsions, which means the bulk of those being picked up are being sent right back: while this doesn’t address the surge of numbers, or the fact that resources are still being stretched - it does mean that the overall impact is not as bad as 2019; as only 500k immigrants so far have made it through: which that could for sure increase; the apocalyptic hand waving is mostly overstated as a result.
The only thing that is going to help fix the southern border issues is when Latin American countries are as stable as Canada. Full stop.
Anything short of that, resources/policy allocated to other goals are largely pointless bandaids.
$100m dollars of wall supplies whether left on the ground, or assembled into a fence is really just a waste of money either way; because it’s not dealing with the pressure that is driving people here in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think Biden is handling the surge of immigrants as well as he should be; there should be more resources dedicated, more negotiation with Latin American countries, etc; but I don’t think the narrative that change policy is playing a significant role in the surge doesn’t seem to match reality.