OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The number of migrants who illegally crossed into the United States during the month of September hit a new record, according to figures released by Customs and Border Protection, leading to new criticisms of President Joe Biden after he pledged to begin beefing up security and building a new section of wall.
“There were 269,735 migrant encounters in September, of which 218,763 were encountered entering illegally by Border Patrol agents. That brings the yearly total for migrants at the southern border for FY 23 to 2.48 million, higher than the 2.38 million in FY 22 and 1.73 million in FY 21. There were just 458,088 encounters in FY 2020,” Fox News reported, citing the CBP data.
“Of those who entered, 43,000 individuals were processed in through ports of entry via the controversial CBP One app, which allows migrants to schedule an appointment to be paroled into the U.S.,” the outlet continued. “Meanwhile, there were 18 encounters of people on the terror watch list between ports of entry at the southern border, taking the total for FY 23 up to 169 — a new record and more than the last six fiscal years combined.”
Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller said he ordered a surge of personnel and resources to the border “in response to high rates of encounters.” He added that beginning last week, there was an increase in deportation flights back to Venezuela, where a significant number of illegal migrants came from.
“We are continually engaging with domestic and foreign partners to address historic hemispheric migration, including large migrant groups traveling on freight trains, and to enforce consequences, including by preparing for direct repatriations to Venezuela,” Miller said. “CBP will continue to remain vigilant, making operational adjustments as necessary and enforcing consequences under U.S. immigration law.”
“The supplemental funding request announced yesterday would provide critically needed additional resources, including additional CBP agents and officers to support our essential missions: from border and migration management, to countering fentanyl and keeping dangerous drugs out of our communities,” he said.
The record numbers make a mockery of the president’s claims that his administration was reimposing “consequences” for illegal entry.
Worse, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has previously claimed that the strategy is “working.”
“Our approach to managing the borders securely and humanely even within our fundamentally broken immigration system is working,” Mayorkas told House lawmakers in July. “Unlawful entries between ports of entry along the southwest border have consistently decreased by more than half, compared to the peak before the end of Title 42.”
Last week, DHS acknowledged that terrorists from abroad are taking advantage of the Biden-manufactured border crisis to enter the United States.
Released last month by the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the “Homeland Threat Assessment” for fiscal year 2024 includes an admission by the agency that international terrorists are looking to capitalize on the Biden administration’s open border policies and the resulting influx of illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border to enter the American homeland.
Under the section titled, “Border and Immigration Security,” the report specifically noted how “terrorists and criminal actors may exploit the elevated flow and increasingly complex security environment to enter the United States.”
The agency further acknowledged that “individuals with potential terrorism connections” are actively attempting to enter the U.S. thanks to the ongoing crisis.
About 160 people on the Terrorist Screening Data Set (TSDS) or “watchlist” were encountered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before the end of the 2023 fiscal year, surpassing the 100 or so encountered in the entire 2022 fiscal year.
According to the report, “Inclusion in the TSDS ranges from known associates of watchlisted individuals, such as family members, to individuals directly engaged in terrorist activity.”
Despite Biden’s and his administration’s repeated claims that they want a “secure” border, they have actively worked to dismantle such measures.
Shortly after taking office, Biden rescinded the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy and began auctioning off construction materials for the border wall. Those who crossed the border illegally and sought asylum were required to remain in the Latin American country until their court hearing.