U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released the border apprehension numbers for February showing a 63 percent increase between 2021 and 2022. This data confirms what we already knew: The Biden administration has made mass illegal migration the new normal, and it will get much worse.
CBP made 164,973 apprehensions in February 2022, up from 101,099 in 2021. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020, CBP apprehended 36,460 aliens. In February 2019 –one month before the first lockdowns hit the United States – CBP apprehended 76,545.
The dramatic increase in apprehension totals reflects President Biden’s soft stance on illegal migration. Apprehensions shot up after January 2021 when Biden took office, and have remained above 100,000 for each month that Joe Biden has been president. Biden campaigned on a promise to amnesty every illegal alien in the United States, sparking a wave of people travelling to the United States hoping to benefit. Some of these aliens even wore t-shirts printed with the words “Biden, Please Let Us In” on the front.
Once in office, Biden eviscerated immigration enforcement through the use of executive action. Biden’s actions tanked morale inside the nation’s immigration enforcement agencies, with one Border Patrol agent telling a reporter that “our job is to be out patrolling the border in between the ports of entry and actively searching for people who have crossed illegally, but we’re not allowed to go do that job, [so]it basically creates this defeated feeling in everyone.” A number of immigration agents even turned their back on the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas as they met with him.
The increase in border apprehensions is historic and unprecedented due to the administration’s lack of response the surge in migrants coming to the southern border. Former President Donald Trump faced a similar catastrophe during the spring and summer of 2019, but took steps to address it, such as implementing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and striking asylum agreements with Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. President Biden, once in office, eliminated those asylum agreements and attempted to wind down MPP.
The only thing preventing hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens from entering the U.S. through our broken asylum process is Title 42, a Trump-era public health order that allows CBP to turn away asylum-seekers at the border to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The February data shows that Border Patrol turned away 55 percent of those apprehended due to Title 42. Without Title 42 in place, all apprehended aliens would have remained in the United States.
The Biden administration is reportedly planning to end Title 42. The U.S. recently announced the end of Title 42 for unaccompanied minors. Secretary Mayorkas met with Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and told him that the U.S. planned to end Title 42 as early as April.
The strain this would place on our immigration agencies, immigration courts, local communities, and states is enormous. Title 42 is the only remaining functioning policy that prevents half of apprehended aliens from entering the country. After their systematic subversion of every law and policy designed to check illegal immigration, the termination of Title 42 would leave no effective border control mechanisms in place, and these current numbers will look minuscule.
Title 42 is not permanent. As the COVID-19 pandemic begins subsiding, it is imperative that the Biden administration act to restore other policies that will prevent an even larger wave of migration and the influx of lethal drugs from pouring across our border.