The end of September marks the end of the fiscal year. So as annual totals are tallied for vast number of federal departments and projects, one stands out above the rest: the total number of apprehensions at the United States’ southern border with Mexico.
When combined with those who tried to enter the country via a port of entry but were found to be inadmissible, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers apprehended nearly one million individuals in FY 2019. That is nearly double the total from FY 2018, and is the highest since FY 2007 – the final year before the U.S. economy suffered from a major recession.
While most elitist corporate news outlets will focus on the total number of apprehensions, another important figure is largely ignored: the number of those who successfully enter the country without detection. Since it’s impossible to nail down an exact figure of how many illegal aliens managed to enter the U.S. in any given year, most pundits avoid talking about the matter at all.
However, in 2017, CBP released a report detailing that they know for a fact roughly 106,000 border crossers successfully escaped apprehension efforts despite being observed/pursued by law enforcement during FY 2016. Furthermore, the agency conservatively estimated that another 65,000 entered the U.S. without any detection. These figures do not include those who are apprehended, then released into the country with an immigration court date, such as commonly occurs with asylum applicants, unaccompanied alien minors, or family units from countries other than Mexico (which make up a greater share of apprehensions now than in past years). At least 35 percent of these migrants never show up for their day in court.
Additionally, these figures also exclude those who illegally crossed into the United States via the northern border, as well as those who entered lawfully but stayed in the country after their visas expired.
So what does this mean about the illegal alien population in the United States? The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) did the math and determined that, since our last estimate in 2017, the illegal alien population in the United States has grown by approximately 1.8 million. That brings the total up to 14.3 million – a record number.
FAIR’s number is considerably higher than what most pro-amnesty groups estimate. In fact, many suggest that the illegal alien population has actually somehow decreased. This assertion is nonsense. Whether one examines just the simple and obvious data, or takes a deep dive into figures from the Census Bureau and Department of Homeland Security, the simple truth is that everything points to an alarming increase in the number of illegal aliens residing in the United States.
This concerning trend can still be reversed, but it will take honest and decisive action from Congress. First of all, the asylum loopholes that have allowed thousands of migrants to fraudulently enter the country must be closed. Additionally, the federal government needs to end the incentives that fuel illegal immigration in the first place. This is best done by enacting mandatory E-Verify, which would drastically decrease the hiring of illegal aliens, and stopping state and local governments from establishing “sanctuary jurisdictions” that protect illegal aliens from federal law enforcement.
FAIR estimates that, at the current rate, there will be more than 21 million illegal aliens in the country by 2025, costing taxpayers $200 billion annually. Until serious action is taken to stem the tide of illegal immigration, the safety and financial well-being of American citizens (and those migrants who are in the country lawfully) will remain at risk.