On April 19, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released data on the number of illegal aliens encountered along the southern border in March. Unsurprisingly, the data indicate the current border crisis is far from over. Last month, CBP officials encountered 221,303 unlawful migrants along the Southwest border – a 33 percent increase from the encounters made in February and a 27 percent increase from the encounters effectuated last March.
The data also show that of the illegal aliens encountered last month, 50 percent were removed from the U.S. under Title 42, a measure that allows CBP authorities to turn away migrants to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the U.S., such as coronavirus.
In addition, March’s border figures are the highest monthly total under President Joe Biden’s watch and in 22 years. Fiscal Year 2022 is halfway completed and is on track to well surpass the 1.7 million encounters made in FY 2021 – which was a record number.
Every American should be concerned with these alarming figures. March is a part of the “slower season,” when fewer encounters are traditionally made at the Southwest border. Moreover, the last time border apprehensions under the Biden administration were above 200,000 was last August, a month that usually experiences large numbers of unauthorized border crossings.
Additionally, it’s impossible at this point for border agents to apprehend everyone crossing the border, which makes it easier for criminals and others who wish to avoid officials to sneak into the country undetected.
Former Acting CBP Commissioner and current FAIR Senior Fellow Mark Morgan noted, “While we’re encountering record high encounters once again this past March along with our wide-open southern border, another alarming statistic is shattering records – the number of got-aways.”
He continued, “As Border Patrol agents are pulled off the front lines away from their national security mission to address the crushing flow of illegal aliens crossing into the U.S., it’s being reported more than 67,000 illegal aliens evaded apprehension in March alone. Adding to the more 300,000 got aways this fiscal year. Among these got aways are untold gang members, criminals, and potential threats to our national security.”
To make matter worse, the Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this month that the administration would lift Title 42 on May 23. Eliminating the public health measure would be a colossal mistake. It is essentially the only border security provision preventing the entry of some illegal aliens from being released into the U.S.’s interior.
Furthermore, the administration has extended the COVID-related pause on student loan payments and is fighting a judicial decision to end mask mandates on domestic airline travel. So essentially, the administration is saying that COVID-19 is a big enough issue to keep certain COVID measures which apply to American citizens, but not a big enough issue to secure the border.
If this tool is taken away from CBP authorities, President Biden would be further incentivizing foreign nationals to enter the U.S. with little restriction, and he would be jeopardizing public health. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill have urged the administration to preserve Title 42.
This is the very least the Biden administration should be doing. There are a multitude of other immigration and border security policies that the administration has scrapped and should be reinstated. Unless the president reverses course, he will continue to shatter records for border encounters, which is nothing any sovereign nation should be proud of.