Homeland Security launches 'climate change professionals program' amid historic illegal border crossings surge

ICE has still not released the 2021 border report

Former Border Patrol Chief Ron Vitiello on why the border report has not yet been released as 2021 saw a 278% increase in border apprehensions.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced a “climate change professionals program” while the historic number of illegal border crossings continues to increase. 

Officials expect illegal crossings at the southern border to hit 2 million in 2021 for the first time in history, but DHS officials announced a program to tackle the “growing focus on adapting to climate change and resilience.” 

Migrants, many from Haiti, are seen at an encampment along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The options remaining for thousands of Haitian migrants straddling the Mexico-Texas border are narrowing as the United States government ramps up to an expected six expulsion flights to Haiti and Mexico began busing some away from the border.
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“The Climate Change Professionals Program will be instrumental in helping the Department adapt to our changing climate by providing hands-on experience and guidance to young professionals interested in climate adaptation and resilience,” said Secretary Mayorkas. 

“This program will develop the next generation of climate experts, improve climate literacy throughout the Department, and help us execute our Climate Action Plan to remain mission-resilient while reducing our own impacts on the environment.”

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas gestures as he answers a question during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing to discuss security threats 20 years after the 9/11 attacks, in Washington, D.C., September 21, 2021.
(Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS)

Some believe that the administration should instead focus on the more immediate issue of illegal border crossings, which have hit an all-time high according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. 

U.S. authorities detained over 1.7 million migrants in the 2021 fiscal year that ended in September – and arrests hit their highest levels ever. 

Gaps seen in the Yuma Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border. (Rep. Andy Biggs)

The total number for the calendar year 2021 is expected to break that record. 

“The Biden Administration is living in an alternate reality,” Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, told Fox News Digital in a statement. “We’ve seen multiple reports of sex criminals and known terrorists trying to cross the border and cartels are funneling lethal drugs into our country in droves.” 

“The Administration needs to focus on stopping the surge of illegal immigrants & prioritize supporting our border patrol agents.” 

Fox News’ Bill Melugin contributed to this report. 

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