U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says it expelled 104,907 illegal aliens who were “encountered” (the Biden administration’s new term for “apprehended”) at the southern border in June. Though that number sounds impressive, it falls far short of the record 188,829 migrant “encounters” during the month, and suggests many, if not all, of the remaining 83,922 illegal aliens successfully entered the United States.
Clearly, there’s room to maneuver through CBP’s expansive migrant classifications. “Inadmissible” aliens include asylum seekers who actually are admitted, and “apprehensions” do not necessarily mean migrants are ever arrested on their way into the country.
“The question for the Biden administration is whether migrants found to be inadmissible in June were turned around, or allowed into the United States,” says Andrew Arthur of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Graphically illustrating the confusion on the ground, a migrant melee broke out this week in Del Rio, Texas, a supposedly secure port of entry. It wasn’t the first try at crashing a border gate, and with illegal alien encounters rising every month since Joe Biden took office it won’t be the last.
If the president drops Title 42, invoked last year to safeguard public health during the COVID pandemic, border agents will lose an effective tool that has blocked more than 750,000 unlawful migrants since October. But that figure also requires as asterisk. Under Title 42, unaccompanied minors are granted entry, along with most family units. Even some single adults are admitted. Why and how all these exceptions are made is anyone’s guess.
Pointing to apparent increases in attempted fraudulent entries, Arthur sees a host of other security gaps. “CBP resources are stretched beyond the breaking point due to the chaos at the border, and smugglers and foreign nationals may view that as an opportunity to engage in fraud, in the hopes that an overworked CBP officer will miss it.”
“Not every illegal migrant is ‘just looking for a better life,’ and, by law, aliens who attempt fraudulent entry are criminals,” Arthur notes. The penalty for using a fraudulent document for entry starts at 10 years in jail. Is CBP detecting fraud? Are cases referred for prosecution? The agency’s statistical reports don’t say.
The increasing (though not officially reported) incidence of “gotaways” – fleeing migrants who don’t turn up on CBP “encounter” lists — is yet another indication that the agency’s thin green line is overwhelmed.
After her June 25 trip to El Paso, Vice President Kamala Harris made the bizarre claim that the administration has seen “extreme progress” at the border. Perhaps she was talking about the extreme profits that smugglers and cartels are reaping as they move evermore migrants and drugs into the United States.
It’s high time that CBP and the Department of Homeland Security make a full accounting of all “inadmissible” aliens who are missing from the monthly reports. That would mark some real progress in transparency and truth telling.