Record Numbers Of Encounters At The Southern Border Show The Biden Administration’s Ongoing Failure To Tackle The Crisis

As Customs And Border Protection Announces Yet Another Record Month Of Illegal Border Crossings On The Southwest U.S. Border, Cities Where Migrants Arrive Are Reaching The Breaking Point, And Americans Are Fed Up


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The Biden Administration has spent two years turning its back on the proven tools and policies that Republicans used to strengthen our southern border. Two years of a functionally open-borders policy from Washington Democrats. And two years of chaos and suffering as a result. Last week, Customs and Border Protection announced that an already record-breaking year ended on a particularly catastrophic note. Illegal immigrant apprehensions clocked an all-time high … during the last fiscal year – by far the highest annual total ever recorded. But then, December set an astonishing record of its own. At over 250,000 apprehensions, last month was CBP’s busiest month ever recorded. The American people are outraged at this willful failure…. Two thirds of the country disapprove of President Biden’s handling of immigration and the border. That’s a 67% supermajority of Americans who believe this Administration is failing on border security. Democrats tie themselves in knots making excuses for why they can’t simply do their job, enforce federal law, and secure our border. Their far-left base makes them pretend that we can’t enforce the laws on the books unless we find new ways to be even more generous to people who’ve come here illegally. It’s nonsensical…. There is a growing bipartisan chorus that is begging President Biden to do his job and secure our nation. It doesn’t take new laws. It doesn’t take some new grand bargain or amnesty. The Administration just needs to do their job. Secure the border. And let law enforcement enforce our laws.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 1/24/2023)


Senate Republicans Who Recently Visited Found ‘An Unprecedented National Security And Humanitarian Crisis At The Southern Border’

SEN. KATIE BRITT (R-AL): “What we witnessed these past 24 hours was gut-wrenching… The raw numbers alone tell us that there is an unprecedented national security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border. However, seeing it up close was truly eye-opening, underlining the historic magnitude of the problem and giving faces to the very real human cost of the reckless policies that have caused this disaster. This trip was an important opportunity for me to listen to and learn from the people who are facing this every single day, from boots-on-the-ground law enforcement officers to courageous survivors of the cartels’ human and drug trafficking. Now, my team and I will be hard at work formulating and advancing tangible solutions that will help seal and secure the border and defend America’s future.” (Sen. Hyde-Smith, Press Release, 1/11/2023)

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “As my colleagues and I saw a couple of weeks ago, one of the biggest challenges is processing and holding capacity. This is a feature of the current catch-and-release policies of the Biden administration, not a bug… and it’s being exploited daily by the criminal organizations that continue to get rich smuggling people and drugs across the border. We also need to strengthen border security. A safe and secure border relies on all of these elements. And it’s clear that Congress needs to invest in more resources, but more than that, in correct policies, so that immigration across our border will be safe, orderly, humane, and legal.” (Sen. Cornyn, Remarks, 1/23/2023)

SEN. CINDY HYDE-SMITH (R-MS): “Unless you have been here, you don’t know it firsthand… The human trafficking industry, the drug industry, they are invading this country. It has been so informative. The bad guys that are coming through are wreaking havoc on this country… We can no longer allow this to happen. It is so amazing that we have laws against this, and they are not enforced.” (Sen. Hyde-Smith, Press Release, 1/11/2023)

SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): “The cartels are in charge of that border – the Mexico side of the border… Human smuggling has gone from being a half-billion business in the last few years to a $15 billion business.” (Sen. Blackburn, Press Release, 1/11/2023)


U.S. Customs And Border Protection Announced That 251,487 Illegal Immigrants Were Encountered At The Southern Border In December, A Record Number, Highlighting ‘The Unprecedented Migrant Crisis Along The Southern Border’

“Illegal border crossings during the month of December reached their highest level of the Biden administration, topping 250,000 in the last month of 2022 ... Data released from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Friday revealed that officials had 251,487 encounters on the southwestern border of the United States during December, a 7 percent increase from the previous month. That total includes 216,162 unique encounters from different people, which is 11 percent higher than in November.” (“Illegal Border Crossings Rose To Highest Level Of Biden’s Presidency In December,” The Hill, 1/21/2023)

  • “[T]he record number of migrant apprehensions in December, a month that has historically seen lower migration flows than warmer parts of the year, illustrates the unprecedented migrant crisis along the southern border, where migrants have been arriving in greater numbers and from more countries than ever before.” (CBS News, 1/20/2023)

PEW RESEARCH: “Monthly encounters between U.S. Border Patrol agents and migrants attempting to cross into the United States at the U.S.-Mexico border remain at levels not seen in more than two decades, according to the latest available government statistics…. The number of monthly migrant encounters had fallen to 16,182 – the second-lowest total in more than 20 years – in April 2020, shortly after the coronavirus outbreak forced the closure of the southwestern border and slowed migration across much of the world. But encounters with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border have soared since then, with 206,239 reported in November 2022 … Recent monthly totals far exceed the peak reached during the last major wave of migration at the U.S.-Mexico border in May 2019 and are roughly on par with the previous peak reached in March 2000.” (“Monthly Encounters With Migrants At U.S.-Mexico Border Remain Near Record Highs,” Pew Research Center, 1/13/2023)

So Far In Fiscal Year 2023, At Least 38 People On The Terror Watchlist Have Been Apprehended Trying To Enter The U.S. Between Ports Of Entry

At least 38 people on the terror watchlist have been apprehended trying to enter the U.S. between ports of entry so far this fiscal year. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “CBP Enforcement Statistics Fiscal Year 2023,” Accessed 1/24/2023)


In Fiscal Year 2022, Nearly 2.4 Million Illegal Immigrants Were Encountered Trying To Cross The Southern Border, ‘More Than Twice The Highest Level During Donald Trump’s Presidency In 2019’

“Migrants were stopped 227,547 times in September at the U.S. border with Mexico, the third-highest month of Joe Biden’s presidency. It was up 11.5% from 204,087 times in August and 18.5% from 192,001 times in September 2021. In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, migrants were stopped 2.38 million times, up 37% from 1.73 million times the year before, according to figures released late Friday night. The annual total surpassed 2 million for the first time in August and is more than twice the highest level during Donald Trump’s presidency in 2019.” (“Illegal Border Crossings To US From Mexico Hit Annual High,” The Associated Press, 10/22/2022)


 ‘Some Of Mexico’s Most Violent Drug Cartels’ Are Now Making An Estimated $13 Billion A Year Smuggling Illegal Immigrants Into The U.S., A 26-Fold Increase From 2018

Migrant smuggling on the U.S. southern border has evolved over the past 10 years from a scattered network of freelance ‘coyotes’ into a multi-billion-dollar international business controlled by organized crime, including some of Mexico’s most violent drug cartels.” (“Smuggling Migrants At The Border Now A Billion-Dollar Business,” The New York Times, 7/25/2022)

“The sheer number of people seeking to cross made migrant smuggling an irresistible moneymaker for some cartels… The enterprises have teams specializing in logistics, transportation, surveillance, stash houses and accounting — all supporting an industry whose revenues have soared to an estimated $13 billion today from $500 million in 2018, according to Homeland Security Investigations, the federal agency that investigates such cases.” (“Smuggling Migrants At The Border Now A Billion-Dollar Business,” The New York Times, 7/25/2022)


Cities Near The U.S. Border Are Straining Under The Surge Of People

“As federal immigration authorities continue to release migrants by the thousands, El Paso officials and local charities are near a breaking point in the sprawling border city…. The sudden and continued arrivals have left El Paso shelters rushing to find space, with government buses with dozens of people routinely arriving unannounced, aid workers said.” (“Migrant Surge at Border Strains El Paso,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/15/2022)

  • “El Paso has long dealt with surges of migrants, with tens of thousands of people being released into the city in the last several years. But in those previous surges, including in 2018 and 2019, increases in arrests along the border and subsequent releases were more gradual. Now, [Mario] D’Agostino [the city’s deputy city manager for public safety] said, 1,000 or more is ‘the daily normal. Those numbers are unsustainable.’ Mr. D’Agostino said the city has spent about $9.5 million on its migrant-management efforts since July.” (“Migrant Surge at Border Strains El Paso,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/15/2022)

“A major border city is on the brink of collapse as the migrant surge under President Biden's leadership overloads food banks and hospitals and threatens food security, a Yuma official told Fox News. ‘Policies need to be changed when you see an unprecedented amount of people coming across the border that even supersedes what we saw under any of the other presidents for the past 30 years,’ Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines told Fox News…. Border Patrol's Yuma sector saw a 171% increase in migrant crossings between 2021 and 2022…. ‘The problem that we're foreseeing right now is there's a couple of big waves coming,’ a Yuma resident and fifth-generation farmer, Hank Auza, told Fox News. ‘Yuma can't support that. It will overwhelm the system here.’” (“A Major Border City Is On The Brink Of Collapse Because Of Biden's Immigration Policies, Local Official Says,” Fox News, 1/23/2023)

CBS’ MARGARET BRENNAN: “Mayor Suarez, I need to get to you on this as well, because South Florida has seen this influx by boat Cubans in particular Haitians, Customs and Border Protection report a 400% increase in the month of October alone….”
MIAMI MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ: “… I think the failure of having an immigration solution, as Mayor Giles said, is creating a sort of- Miami and Florida becoming a border state and border city. As you said, we had the single largest increase in public school enrollment year over year, this year. And so that just to put that in context, about 14,000 new children, if a big school has 2,000 children, that's seven new schools that we have to create in the system. It obviously, as you said, puts a homeless- strain on the homeless system in trying to- to take care of the least, the last, and the lost in our cities. It puts a strain on our public hospital system, we have one of the largest public hospitals in the country that provides hundreds of millions of dollars of indigent care, puts a tremendous amount of strain on that system.” (CBS’ “Face the Nation,” 1/22/2023)


And Even Large Cities Run By Democrats Say They Are ‘Reaching A Breaking Point’ Under Waves Of Illegal Immigration

“In reports on ABC and CBS News, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called on the Biden administration do more to address the border crisis. Adams recently said that there is ‘no more room in New York’ for asylum seekers being sent to the city from Texas. ‘This should not happen to any city in America. This is a national problem and our national government, Congress and the White House must do a long-term comprehensive immigration policy,’ he told ABC's Jonathan Karl. But he demanded the White House ‘deal with the immediate emergency we have now.’ ‘Congress has an obligation and a national government has the obligation that brings with it the responsibility of dealing with this immediate crisis. This is a crisis,’ he emphasized to CBS.” (“Democratic Mayors Call Out Biden Admin Over Border Crisis: ‘This Is A National Problem,’” Fox News, 1/23/2023)

  • “‘There’s no more room’ in New York City to house asylum seekers, Mayor Eric Adams said Wednesday, putting new pressure on the Biden administration to immediately address the migrant crisis. ‘We’re at that point,’ Adams said during POLITICO’s The Fifty: America’s Mayors, a virtual interview on the sidelines of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington…. Some 40,000 migrants have arrived in New York City from the southern border since last year, with an additional 3,000 coming during just one week this month.” (“Eric Adams Pressures Biden To Address Migrant Crisis As New York Costs Soar,” Politico, 1/18/2023)

“The city of Denver says it is reaching a breaking point when it comes to the continuing arrival of migrants here, and is now calling on the federal government to step in…. ‘We're at our breaking point, 100 percent,’ said Mikayla Ortega, communications manager with the Denver Office of Emergency Management. ‘We need the federal government to step in. Denver is not a border community. We don't have the resources that border communities do from the federal government, so we're very limited in what we can do here.’ According to Ortega, the city has spent more than $1 million on sheltering efforts so far and is projecting to spend another $2 million moving forward.” (“City Of Denver Says They Are At Breaking Point As Migrants Continue To Arrive,” CBS Colorado, 12/30/2022)


It’s Obvious Why Large Majorities Of Americans Disapprove Of President Biden’s Handling Of The Border Crisis

QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY: “Americans were asked about Biden’s handling of ... the situation at the Mexican border: 18 percent approve, while 68 percent disapprove. President Biden’s marks on his handling of the situation at the Mexican border hit an all-time low in a Quinnipiac University poll. The previous low was a negative 23 - 67 percent on October 6, 2021.” (Quinnipiac University Poll, 1/18/2023)

ABC NEWS/IPSOS: “Biden also receives low marks in other areas, with a 67% disapproval rating on immigration and the border …” (ABC News, 1/22/2023)

YAHOO NEWS/YOUGOV: “Just 31% of Americans now approve of how Biden is handling immigration — a new low…. Meanwhile, the share of Americans who disapprove of the president’s approach to immigration (55%) is higher than ever before, putting him underwater by 24 percentage points.” (“Poll: Biden's Approval On Immigration Drops To New Low,” Yahoo News, 1/20/2023)



Related Issues: Homeland Security, Immigration