Illegal Migrant Crossings Into U.S. Reached New High In February

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


The border crisis is one of the top issues on voters’ minds this election, and it is getting worse under the watch of President Joe Biden.

The number of illegal aliens entering the nation in February increased as the Department of Homeland Security said that it had more than 256,000 encounters with unauthorized migrants that month, The Washington Times reported.

“Nearly 190,000 of the encounters came at the southern border, and about 141,000 of those were Border Patrol arrests. Among them were 11 more arrests of migrants whose identities were found on the government’s terrorism watchlist,” the report said.

“The rest of the southern border encounters were unauthorized migrants showing up at crossings and demanding to be let in. More than 42,000 of those sought entry under a legally iffy “parole” program created by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to try to take pressure off Border Patrol agents,” it said.

“Under that program, known as the CBPOne App, migrants can schedule their arrivals at the border and be allowed in. The government also runs another parole program that allows up to 30,000 migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to preschedule arrivals at airports inside the U.S,” it said.

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But Customs and Border Protection said that the high number of encounters are because the program is working as intended and “noncitizens will follow an orderly process when one is available.”

“This is part of the administration’s strategy to combine expanded lawful pathways with stronger consequences to reduce irregular migration and [has] kept hundreds of thousands of people from migrating irregularly,” it said.

However, Republicans have said that the program is failing as it incentivizes migrants.

“Despite Secretary Mayorkas finally admitting that there is a border crisis after three years of lying to Congress and the American people, he continues to incentivize unlawful entry into the country with his mass catch-and-release and mass-parole programs,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman and Tennessee Republican Rep. Mark Green said.

After the death of a young nursing student, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) tore into the impeached Mayorkas and his failures.

The DHS chief acknowledged the 22-year-old’s murder during an interview Sunday with CBS News, but his refusal to admit any responsibility or that the suspect, Jose Antonio Ibarra, should have been deported or jailed, set the Louisiana Republican off, pointing out on the X platform that had he done his job, Riley would “still be alive today.”

“When asked about the tragic murder of Laken Riley by an illegal immigrant, Secretary Mayorkas visibly checked his talking points on how to deflect blame. Her killer should NOT have been allowed to enter the country and if the Administration had stopped him and turned him around as they should have, Laken Riley would be alive today,” Johnson wrote.

During the interview, “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan asked Mayorkas about “migrant crime” in general but then honed in on the Laken murder.

“[Ibarra] had been detained by Border Patrol upon crossing, released with temporary permission to stay in the country,” she reminded him, adding that he “then went on allegedly to commit crimes twice, once in New York for driving a scooter without a license, and once in connection with a shoplifting case in Georgia.”

“Did those states and their law enforcement communicate to the federal government that this had happened?” she asked. “Should this man have been deported?”

Mayorkas offered what sounded to many like talking point sympathies to Riley’s family, calling her murder a “tragedy” before finishing his response.

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“One individual is responsible for the murder,” he said, “and that is the murderer.”

Mayorkas was impeached in February by House Republicans which brought the ire of The Department of Homeland Security.

“Without a shred of evidence or legitimate Constitutional grounds, and despite bipartisan opposition, House Republicans have falsely smeared a dedicated public servant who has spent more than 20 years enforcing our laws and serving our country,” Department Spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg.

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