HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- According to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, there has not been a surge of migrants at the border, but the number has actually dropped nearly in half.
So why is this happening?
In just the last week, Title 42 ended, halting three-year, pandemic-related restriction rules. U.S. immigration officials expected a massive surge of migrants to cross, but that has not happened.
Mayorkas recently said that border agents encountered about 6,300 migrants last Friday and 4,200 on Saturday.
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This is partly because the U.S. has now adopted a system requiring migrants to seek US asylum before coming to the border, and now Title 8 is back in place, which is stricter.
A second reason there has not been a spike is that because local leaders believe the drug cartels have jumped in to make money in the U,S.
Dr. Sergio Lira with LULAC tells ABC13 that cartels have added "portales," or gate-keepers for human smuggling. These "portales" charge anywhere from $11,000 to $12,000 a person.
RELATED: Federal judge temporarily blocks Border Patrol from 'paroling' migrants to ease overcrowding
"They are separating the families," he said. "Until you pay us', if not, serious consequences will happen."
Therefore, the migrants seeking asylum are deciding to stay in Mexico or other countries for now, Lira said.
Another factor is that Mexico deployed many law enforcement and military troops along its border days before the expiration of Title 42.
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