Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., the head of the House Border Security Caucus, is warning that the U.S.-Mexico border is "overrun" after a visit to the border in Yuma, Arizona, and that the situation could get worse in 2022 if the Biden administration doesn’t change course.
Biggs spoke to Fox News Digital after returning from a trip to the border in Yuma, where he saw dozens of migrants streaming into the country in a short space of time — specifically through gaps in the border wall. The Biden administration has halted wall construction, even amid a dramatic surge in numbers of illegal migrants coming to the border.
"What’s happening in Yuma right now, it’s basically overrun," he said, adding how he saw groups of 30 or 40 migrants walking in at a time. "It’s just so casual. It’s not extraordinary anymore to illegally cross our borders."
Border numbers have remained stubbornly high throughout fall and winter so far, after decreasing slightly from the more than 200,000 encounters of the summer. In November, agents reported 173,620 encounters at the southern borderr, a staggering increase of 140 percent from the same time last year.
The figures showed border encounters in November climbed by nearly 10,000 from October, which saw an increase of nearly 130% over from October 2020. Biggs notes that many of the migrants who are encountered will be processed and quickly released into the interior of the United States.
"You see it’s just absolutely open, and you know what's happening in Yuma is what's happening in Del Rio, same thing happening in the Rio Grande on a daily basis," he said.
Since October of this year, Customs and Border Protection reported close to 22,000 encounters in the Yuma Sector. One law enforcement official in the area described the situation as "absolute chaos."
Biggs, who has been pushing the Biden administration on its response to the crisis for months, said that migrants are zeroing in on and exploiting gaps in the wall and fencing along the border. Other parts of the sector only have short Normandy fences, which are significantly easier for migrants to traverse.
"It’s the gaps — it’s the gaps where you see this happening. And not just there — it’s everywhere I've been along the border. It’s the gaps in the fence."
Biggs believes that the situation will get worse in 2022, saying that the border will likely see more traffic given that the administration is not reversing course on its policies.
"What has been the Biden response?" Biggs said. "[DHS Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas has done nothing. [Vice President] Kamala Harris goes down there and does nothing, says climate change is the root cause. I’ve talked to folks down in Colombia and Panama, and what you see there are big groups amassing down there, so you’re going to see more caravans coming up."
As for what could be done to solve the crisis, Biggs offers a number of fixes, including finishing construction of the border wall, ending "catch-and-release" and increasing the number of migrants and illegal immigrants being returned to their countries.
"I would say within a few months, you could solve this problem, but as soon as you start sending people back home, it just dries up a substantial amount of the traffic immediately."
Fox News' Joshua Nelson and Peter Hasson contributed to this report.