The Senate Has A Once-In-A-Generation Opportunity To Finally Change The Status Quo On America’s Borders
This Agreement Secures Unprecedented Conservative Policy Changes To At Last Tackle Biden’s Border Crisis, Including Reforms To Our Broken Asylum System, Halting Abuses Of Parole, And Surging Enforcement To The Border, All Without Any Concessions To Democrat Amnesty Demands
SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “For three years, the American people have endured both a border crisis and the open-borders agenda that caused it. President Biden’s campaign promise to welcome illegal aliens at the border overwhelmed a broken asylum system that unified Republican government had tried desperately to fix in the face of Democrat obstruction. His Administration took away critical tools like ‘Remain in Mexico’ and strong enforcement priorities that CBP and ICE had relied on to stem the tide of illegal arrivals. The Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border created an unprecedented crisis, and the urgent humanitarian and security consequences affect every state. It is time to force the President to start cleaning up his mess and equip future leaders with a system that works and new emergency tools to restore order.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 2/04/2024)
- LEADER McCONNELL: “I am grateful to Senator Lankford for working tirelessly to ensure that supplemental national security legislation begins with direct and immediate solutions to the crisis at our southern border. America’s sovereignty is being tested here at home, and our credibility is being tested by emboldened adversaries around the world. The challenges we face will not resolve themselves, nor will our adversaries wait for America to muster the resolve to meet them. The Senate must carefully consider the opportunity in front of us and prepare to act.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 2/04/2024)
SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): “The border security bill will put a huge number of new enforcement tools in the hands of a future administration and push the current Administration to finally stop the illegal flow. The bill provides funding to build the wall, increase technology at the border, and add more detention beds, more agents, and more deportation flights. The border security bill ends the abuse of parole on our southwest border that has waived in over a million people. It dramatically changes our ambiguous asylum laws by conducting fast screenings at a higher standard of evidence, limited appeals, and fast deportation. New bars to asylum eligibility will stop the criminal cartels from exploiting our currently weak immigration laws. The bill also has new emergency authorities to shut down the border when the border is overrun, new hiring authorities to quickly increase officers, and new hearing authorities to quickly apply consequences for illegal crossings. It changes our border from catch and release to detain and deport.” (Sen. Lankford, Press Release, 2/04/2024)
- SEN. LANKFORD: “In the last four months, the US has had the highest number of illegal border crossings every month, with December hitting a US record of over 300,000 illegal crossings—averaging nearly 10,000 people per day. In December alone, almost 45,000 people crossing our southern border were given a work permit and parole status the day they arrived as a ‘reward’ for crossing at a port of entry, which only incentivizes more people coming. Our immigration hearings are backlogged for years, allowing millions of non-citizens to wander around our country. In the past three years, more than 8 million people have crossed our southern border illegally costing our nation billions of dollars and bringing record levels of fentanyl, crime, and homelessness. Even if President Biden will not admit it, this is a crisis. We must secure our border now. It cannot wait any longer.” (Sen. Lankford, Press Release, 2/04/2024)
This Agreement Is The Best Opportunity In Decades To Secure ‘Significant Policy Changes That Would Make A Tangible Difference At The Border’
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Senate negotiators have been working on a much-needed change to the standard for asylum and a cap on humanitarian parole admissions. These have allowed the Administration to wave migrants by the hundreds of thousands into the country. A third negotiating issue is whether migrants should be obliged to stay in a safe third country they passed through to get to the U.S. border. These are significant policy changes that would make a tangible difference at the border.” (Editorial, “Republicans, Don’t Reject Border Progress,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/07/2024)
- “Months ago Democrats wouldn’t even discuss changing incentives to the asylum system that has allowed so many migrants to enter the U.S. and spread far and wide. But Democrats are waking up to the political harm this is doing to their party and the President as even progressive city mayors cry for help.” (Editorial, “Republicans, Don’t Reject Border Progress,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/07/2024)
- “A Senate deal would etch into law border enforcement tools that Mr. Trump could use if he makes it back to the White House, whether or not Mr. Biden chooses to use them. That would make those tools less vulnerable to legal challenge.” (Editorial, “Republicans, Don’t Reject Border Progress,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/07/2024)
- “[G]iving up on a border security bill would be a self-inflicted GOP wound…. The GOP would also abandon the best chance in years to fix asylum law and the parole loophole that Mr. Biden has exploited. Mr. Trump while President in 2018 complained that such dysfunctions precluded him from fully restoring order to the border.” (Editorial, “A GOP Border Reckoning,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/25/2024)
With The Provisions In This Legislation, Congress Forces The President To Enforce Immigration Law And Deport Those Violating It
Ends Parole Catch-And-Release Fiasco At The Border
- Ends Biden’s use of catch-and-release through the CBPOne app to hand out work permits for free along the southwest border.
- The definition of humanitarian parole is clarified to stop the daily flagrant abuse of the authority at the border.
- This change alone will stop over half-a-million border crossings every year.
Revolutionary Change In Asylum Screening
- Prohibits illegal migrants who could have relocated within their home country from being eligible for asylum in the US.
- Bars criminal aliens from getting through the first asylum screening at the border.
- Bars any alien that re-settled or could have re-settled in another country on the way to the United States.
- Raises the standard for evidence of persecution to the higher Trump Administration’s “reasonable possibility” standard. This alone will dramatically reduce the number of people allowed through the asylum screening process.
- Combines three separate screenings to make the process faster at the border: Credible Fear (asylum), Convention Against Torture (CAT), and Withholding of Removal. This will quickly send illegal migrants who do not qualify for asylum back to their home country, instead of being released into the US for seemingly endless appeals and hearings.
- Each of these changes would reduce dramatically the number of people eligible to even apply for asylum, but together they will be a powerful tool for any administration willing to enforce the law.
Provides New Expedited Removal Authority To Ensure Illegal Migrants Are Removed Within 90 Days
- Currently, most illegal migrants are processed without screening, released into the interior for 10 or more years, and placed into a 3 million case backlog—that ends with this bill.
- The new expedited removal authority ensures that every illegal alien who crosses the border is either detained or tracked. Some family groups are hard to detain, so those groups will have alternative to detention, fast hearings and one limited appeal.
- Those who do not qualify will be removed.
Resumes Border Wall Construction
- Provides $650 million to build and reinforce miles and miles of new border wall.
- It also withholds the majority of the wall money to be used during the next administration.
Homeland Security Funding Radically Changes From Catch And Release To Enforce And Deport
- Increases Border Patrol recruitment and streamlines hiring.
- Funding for more ICE Agents and ICE detention beds.
- Funding for effective mandatory monitoring.
- Funding for ICE removal operations (flights and buses back home).
- Uses direct hire procedures to increase ICE deportation officers and enforcement and removal personnel to ensure that illegal migrants can be quickly repatriated to their home countries.
Setting The Facts Straight On Border Emergency Authority: It Triggers A Border Shutdown
Border Emergency Authority Is A New Mechanism ON TOP OF EXISTSING LAW That Shuts The Border When Encounters Are Elevated – IT DOES NOT ALLOW 5,000 DAILY ARRIVALS
- When surges exceed our capacity to detain, deport, and deter illegal crossings, the border is shut down (similar to Title 42). This new authority holds the Biden Administration accountable and restores control at the border for a future Republican Administration. Unlike Title 42, a communicable disease like COVID-19 is not a prerequisite for closing the border under BEA.
- Every single encounter, every day, is subject to the bill’s new, heightened screening standards and expedited removal. People will no longer be released into the country to await a hearing years in the future, instead there will be a rapid screening and when they fail, they will be deported quickly.
- If there is a surge on the border from a caravan and daily encounters reach 5,000 aliens a day over a week, the border must be immediately closed and every person crossing illegally immediately turned around. At an average of 4,000 crossings per day, presidents would have the ability to close the border, but at 5,000, it must be closed.
- The border does not reopen until two weeks after the encounters have reduced.
- Under the bill, every single illegal alien arrival is subject to immediate screening and expedited removal. Aliens are no longer released into the country by the thousands, they are deported by the thousands. The BEA is an insurance policy to make any administration shut down our border when the numbers surge so we will never again have a month like December 2023.
- At the current encounter rate, the Administration will be forced to close the border upon enactment.
(Office of Sen. Lankford)
Border Emergency Authority Mandates A Complete Shutdown Of The Border
- Creates a new mandatory Border Emergency Authority that will protect our nation from ever having another month like September, October, November or December 2023, when more than 10,000 people a day crossed the southern border.
- The new Border Emergency Authority is even stronger than the Title 42 Authority used during the Trump Administration because it also includes new legal consequences for anyone who tries to return after deported.
- Changes the default when the border is overrun from releasing everyone into the country to deporting everyone out of the country. When the average number of crossings exceeds 5,000 people a week (which it has every week but one in the past four months) everyone crossing illegally everyday is rapidly deported out of the country without an asylum screening. In the past four months almost a million people have crossed our border. If this law had been in place four months ago, all of them would have been deported out of the country, rather than released into the country.
- When the border closes, it stays closed and everyone is deported every day until the number of people crossing illegally drops. Once the number of encounters drop, the border continues to stay closed for up to an additional two weeks to continue to drive the numbers down; It closes the border when we exceed our capacity to detain and deport so no one is released into the US because of the crowd.
- No more massive caravans of migrants flowing over the border day after day.
- Allows law enforcement in America to control the border, not the criminal cartels in Mexico.
This Agreement Follows The Contours Of Border Security Reform Proposals Senate Republicans Offered Back In November
“Senate Republican Working Group Solutions for the Southern Border Crisis:
- “Requires DHS to resume construction of the border wall …
- “Raises the asylum ‘credible fear of persecution’ initial screening standard from ‘significant possibility’ to ‘more likely than not,’ weeding out non-meritorious claims earlier in the asylum process.
- “Prohibits DHS from using broad class-based criteria to grant humanitarian parole.”
(“Senate Republican Working Group Solutions for the Southern Border Crisis,” Sens. Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton, and James Lankford, 11/06/2023; U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Press Release, 11/06/2023)
This Proposal Is Without Question ‘The Most Conservative Border Security Bill In Decades’
“What’s different is that this is a more conservative deal than we saw in the Bush, Obama or even Trump years.” (NBC News’ Sahil Kapur, @sahilkapur, Twitter, 1/18/2024)
“Senate negotiations … will probably yield the most conservative border security bill in decades.” (“The Early 202,” The Washington Post, 1/18/2024)
- “The intraparty pressure [from Democrats on Biden] has turned the politics of immigration upside down at the beginning of a campaign year. And it has increased the likelihood that Mr. Biden and Democratic lawmakers will approve immigration concessions to Republicans that would have seemed improbable just a few years ago.” (“Biden Faces Pressure On Immigration, And Not Just From Republicans,” The New York Times, 1/04/2024)
“On the Senate side, pro-deal Republicans are telling their colleagues it’s an opportunity to put in place conservative policies they’d never get without this moment of leverage, policies a future Republican president could use to full effect.” (“‘This Is A Hostage-Taking — This Is Not A Negotiation’: Senate Immigration Talks Leave Many On The Left Unsatisfied,” The Boston Globe, 1/24/2024)
“‘To get this kind of border security without granting a pathway to citizenship is really unheard of,’ South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican veteran of many immigration negotiations, said at a news conference. ‘This is a historic moment to reform the border.’” (“‘This Is A Hostage-Taking — This Is Not A Negotiation’: Senate Immigration Talks Leave Many On The Left Unsatisfied,” The Boston Globe, 1/24/2024)
The Bill ‘Doesn’t Include A Pathway To Citizenship’ And ‘Contains Several New Enforcement Measures And Almost No Democratic Priorities’
SEN. LANKFORD: “This bill focuses on getting us to zero illegal crossings a day. There’s no amnesty. It increases the number of Border Patrol agents, increases asylum officers, it increases detention beds so we can quickly detain and then deport individuals…” (Fox’s “Fox News Sunday,” 1/28/2024)
“The bill that Lankford, Sinema and Murphy are crafting, though, doesn’t include a pathway to citizenship and is more in line with Republicans’ border priorities than Democrats’.” (The Washington Post, 1/29/2024)
- “That’s partly because Senate negotiators have ruled out serious immigration concessions to the left, such as permanent status for Dreamers, a decision that effectively shifts the negotiations toward the GOP.” (“Democrats Risk A New Progressive Rebellion As Biden Embraces Border Deal,” Politico, 1/31/2024)
- “As Congress tries to strike a deal to secure the border to free up assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, the substance of the discussion has moved substantially to the right. No one is talking about citizenship for undocumented people — only how to secure the southern border and stem the tide of migrants seeking refugee status. It is a marked change for Democrats and President Biden, but they seem ready to give substantial ground …” (The New York Times, 2/01/2024)
- “The contours of the deal would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. It contains several new enforcement measures and almost no Democratic priorities, such as offering a path to citizenship for longtime undocumented immigrants.” (“Why Both Parties Have Shifted Right on Immigration—and Still Can’t Agree,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/03/2024)
- “Notably, the deal isn’t expected to include a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who arrived to the United States as children … The deal also does nothing to deal with millions more who are living in the US illegally and had been granted a path to citizenship in the 2013 immigration package. The exclusion of the groups underscores a shift in the Democratic Party bruised by years of migrant surges at the US-Mexico border.” (CNN, 1/31/2024)
- “Democrats have previously demanded that any conversation on border security include a path to citizenship or legal residency for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States or at a minimum provide legal status to ‘dreamers,’ who were brought to the United States as children.” (“The Early 202,” The Washington Post, 1/18/2024)
- FOX NEWS’ BILL MELUGIN: “My initial highlights from the border deal. No amnesty/legalization of anyone already in the U.S. illegally.” (Bill Melugin, @BillMelugin_, Twitter, 2/04/2024)
Progressives And ‘Immigration Advocates … Are Not Pleased. At All.’
“If the deal were to become law, it would be one of the most significant changes to US immigration policy in decades and would defy long-held conceptions about the necessary ingredients for any bipartisan deal on the issue, including the goal of many on the left of pairing border security changes with a pathway to citizenship for migrants already in the United States.” (“‘This Is A Hostage-Taking — This Is Not A Negotiation’: Senate Immigration Talks Leave Many On The Left Unsatisfied,” The Boston Globe, 1/24/2024)
- “The emerging deal marks a dramatic political shift on immigration, with many of the traditional voices for Democrats on the issue feeling shut out and angry, especially given their party’s control of the White House and Senate.” (“‘This Is A Hostage-Taking — This Is Not A Negotiation’: Senate Immigration Talks Leave Many On The Left Unsatisfied,” The Boston Globe, 1/24/2024)
- “[T]he choice by Democrats and the White House to engage in them and offer so many concessions could have lasting effects on the scope of the possible immigration reform.” (“‘This Is A Hostage-Taking — This Is Not A Negotiation’: Senate Immigration Talks Leave Many On The Left Unsatisfied,” The Boston Globe, 1/24/2024)
“Some progressives see a potential border deal between Biden and Republicans as a betrayal of his promises to reverse former President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies.” (“Democrats Risk A New Progressive Rebellion As Biden Embraces Border Deal,” Politico, 1/31/2024)
- “Progressives are threatening to vote against the deal, warning that resentment over approval could eat into President Biden’s already-tenuous Latino support in November.” (“‘This Is A Hostage-Taking — This Is Not A Negotiation’: Senate Immigration Talks Leave Many On The Left Unsatisfied,” The Boston Globe, 1/24/2024)
“Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), along with Sens. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), spoke out many weeks ago to oppose changes to asylum policy that didn’t include more left-leaning ideas they’ve fought for, such as a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.” (“3 Factions That Matter The Most To Any Border Deal,” Politico, 1/23/2024)
- “Even beyond the Progressive Caucus, key House Democratic voting blocs are riled up about the talks and airing anxiety about what the White House might concede to Republicans.” (“Democrats Risk A New Progressive Rebellion As Biden Embraces Border Deal,” Politico, 1/31/2024)
POLITICO’s PLAYBOOK: “As for the left, well, let’s just say that immigration advocates who had been pleasantly surprised by the Biden administration’s approach after four years of Trump are not pleased. At all.” (“Playbook: Biden Crosses The Border Line,” Politico, 1/27/2024)
- “‘President Biden is finally admitting that he’s given up on his campaign promise to enact more humane immigration policies than Trump,’ a former Biden immigration official texted Playbook last night. ‘He would rather adopt Trump’s border rhetoric than continue the work he started as Vice President to fix the border by addressing the root causes of migration.’” (“Playbook: Biden Crosses The Border Line,” Politico, 1/27/2024)
- “Las Americas Executive Director AMARISA LIMON GARZA, who has met with Biden officials for years, called the statement ‘the most uninformed, short-sighted idea of a solution as could be’ and a break from the administration’s prior policy commitments.” (“Playbook: Biden Crosses The Border Line,” Politico, 1/27/2024)
FLASHBACK: Biden Took Office Pledging To Offer Amnesties And Other Policies ‘Loaded With The Wish-List Items Of Immigration Advocates And Democratic Activists’
“His campaign released what became the most liberal immigration proposal of any mainstream Democratic candidate in history. Among other things, it pledged to shut down all privately run immigration detention centers, protect longtime workers lacking permanent legal status and reverse many of Trump’s border policies.” (“Biden Accedes to Tougher Immigration Policy to Deflect Criticism, Secure Ukraine Aid,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/18/2024)
- “Biden has said he would govern differently from President Barack Obama, and he has acknowledged that deporting people who had not committed any crime other than crossing the border was a ‘big mistake.’” (“Biden Sees Obama’s Mass Deportations As A ‘Big Mistake,’ Plans To Pause Expulsions,” The Washington Post, 12/02/2020)
- “President Biden is promising kinder, more welcoming immigration policies — and raising hopes for asylum-seekers throughout the hemisphere.” (“Asylum-Seekers Hope Biden’s Pledge To Welcome Immigrants Includes Them,” NPR, 1/22/2021)
- “The Biden campaign’s immigration proposals are loaded with the wish-list items of immigration advocates and Democratic activists.” (“Biden Plans To Spurn Trump Immigration Restrictions, But Risk Of New Border Crisis Looms,” The Washington Post, 12/02/2020)
- “‘In the first 100 days, I will send a immigration bill to the United States Senate with a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America,’ Biden said in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt.” (“Immigrant Advocates To Biden: Be Better Than Obama,” Politico, 11/25/2020)
“On his first day in office, he followed through on several of those pledges. He halted construction of Trump’s border wall, reversed the travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries and ended the Remain in Mexico policy. He also sent Congress an immigration proposal, seen as a Democratic wishlist, including a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million immigrants who were living in the U.S. illegally when Biden took office.” (“Biden Accedes to Tougher Immigration Policy to Deflect Criticism, Secure Ukraine Aid,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/18/2024)
The Biden Administration Had Previously Refused To Make Meaningful Changes To Asylum And Parole Policies Democrat Activists Wanted To Continue Abusing
“Many Democrats and immigration activists view the White House’s concessions on asylum as … a betrayal of Biden’s campaign promise to reverse Trump’s restrictions on the system. Moreover, the Democratic negotiators haven’t sought to include any changes to help ‘Dreamers,’ immigrants brought to the country illegally as children—effectively giving up on a longtime demand.” (The Wall Street Journal, 12/14/2023)
“Republicans are also insisting on narrowing an immigration power known as humanitarian parole, which enables the government to let people into the country who can’t qualify for a visa. The Biden administration has been using that power liberally to admit hundreds of thousands of migrants who have registered with the government in advance, making it a top target for Republicans.” (“Senate Group Edges Closer To Proposal Aimed At Securing Southern Border,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/07/2024)
“Senior White House officials have previously told Democrats in Congress that they would not accept the Republican demands to restrict parole. But during a White House meeting on Friday, Mr. Biden’s advisers recognized that a border deal with Republicans would not be possible without the administration agreeing on limiting parole, people briefed on those talks told CBS News. Accepting restrictions on parole would be a significant concession to Republicans, since Biden has relied so heavily on the policy.” (“Pressured By Record Migrant Crossings, White House Weighs Tough Concession In Border Talks With Congress,” CBS News, 1/07/2024)
- “As part of the border-deal negotiations with Republicans, the White House has also recently signaled it would accept some changes to humanitarian parole, an authority that allows the government to let in people who don’t qualify for a visa. The Biden administration has been using it expansively to let in migrants who register with the government in advance …” (“Biden Accedes to Tougher Immigration Policy to Deflect Criticism, Secure Ukraine Aid,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/18/2024)
- “[O]ver the past three years, the Biden administration has used parole on a record scale…” (“Pressured By Record Migrant Crossings, White House Weighs Tough Concession In Border Talks With Congress,” CBS News, 1/07/2024)
Applying For Asylum Is ‘Now The Surest Way For Migrants To Stay In The United States’
“Today, people from around the globe are streaming across the southern border … But rather than trying to elude U.S. authorities, the overwhelming majority of migrants seek out border agents, sometimes waiting hours or days in makeshift encampments, to surrender. Being hustled into a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle and taken to a processing facility is hardly a setback. In fact, it is a crucial step toward being able to apply for asylum — now the surest way for migrants to stay in the United States, even if few will ultimately win their cases.” (“One Big Reason Migrants Are Coming in Droves: They Believe They Can Stay,” The New York Times, 1/31/2024)
- “In December alone, more than 300,000 people crossed the southern border, a record number. It is not just because they believe they will be able to make it across the 2,000 mile southern frontier. They are also certain that once they make it to the United States they will be able to stay. Forever. And by and large, they are not wrong.” (“One Big Reason Migrants Are Coming in Droves: They Believe They Can Stay,” The New York Times, 1/31/2024)
“‘I don’t know anyone who has been deported,’ Carolina Ortiz, a migrant from Colombia, said in an interview in late December at an encampment outside Jacumba Hot Springs, about 60 miles southeast of San Diego … Ms. Ortiz, 40, said she intended to apply for asylum based on violence in Colombia. Her chances of winning are slim, because violence alone typically does not meet the standard for persecution. Even so, she will be shielded from deportation while her claim is pending and will qualify for a work permit.” (“One Big Reason Migrants Are Coming in Droves: They Believe They Can Stay,” The New York Times, 1/31/2024)
- “When agents showed up, they transported Ms. Ortiz to a facility where she was given paperwork that said she had entered the country illegally, had been placed in deportation proceedings and must appear before an immigration judge. The court date was Feb. 19, 2026. She was then released. In Ms. Ortiz’s mind, everything was going according to plan.” (“One Big Reason Migrants Are Coming in Droves: They Believe They Can Stay,” The New York Times, 1/31/2024)
“Most asylum claims are ultimately rejected. But even when that happens, years down the road, applicants are highly unlikely to be deported.” (“One Big Reason Migrants Are Coming in Droves: They Believe They Can Stay,” The New York Times, 1/31/2024)
- “If migrants tell judges they had been living in desperate poverty and came to the United States in search of work, the migrants could be rapidly deported. So migrants apply for asylum, knowing that gives them a fighting chance to stay. Under U.S. law, asylum seekers can remain in the United States at least until their cases are concluded…. If a decision is not rendered in 150 days, virtually impossible today, asylum applicants automatically become eligible for an employment authorization card.” (“One Big Reason Migrants Are Coming in Droves: They Believe They Can Stay,” The New York Times, 1/31/2024)
Congress Must Act: The Record-Breaking Crisis At The Border Is Unsustainable
“From May to September, DHS deported more migrants than during any other five-month period in the last decade, spokeswoman Erin Heeter said in a statement.” (“U.S. Released More Than 2.3 Million Migrants At Border Since 2021, Data Show,” The Washington Post, 1/06/2024)
“The Border Patrol has grown so overwhelmed that agents in several places are detaining migrants awaiting initial processing in makeshift holding areas outdoors for several days rather than holding them at Border patrol stations.” (The Wall Street Journal, 12/14/2023)
“The huge spike in migrants and resulting chaos at various border locations have increased frustration with the Biden administration’s immigration policies and put pressure on Congress to reach a deal on asylum.” (“Illegal Crossings Surge In Remote Areas As Congress And The White House Weigh Major Asylum Limits,” The Associated Press, 12/19/2023)
In December, Migrant Encounters Along Southwest Border Hit ‘The Highest Monthly Total Ever Recorded’
“December broke records for migrant encounters at the southern border, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed on Friday, as it released numbers showing that there were a record 302,000 migrant encounters at the southern border. The Friday afternoon release, which showed 302,034 encounters in December, comes more than three weeks since Fox reported that there were over 302,000 encounters -- which breaks the monthly record set in September and is the first time the number has ever breached the 300,000 mark.” (“Migrant Crisis Broke New Record In December With 302k Encounters, Officials Confirm,” Fox News, 1/26/2024)
- “There were 302,000 encounters along the southwest border in December, marking the highest monthly total ever recorded, sources told ABC News.” (ABC News, “Migrant Encounters Along Southwest Border Reach All-Time High Of 302,000,” 1/02/2024)
- “Border Patrol agents in December set a record of nearly 250,000 arrests of migrants caught crossing the border illegally, up 31% from November.” (“Biden Willing To ‘Shut Down’ Border During Migrant Surges If Deal Passes,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/26/2024)
- “Separately, about 52,000 people were taken into custody at legal crossings along the southwest border.” (“Biden Willing To ‘Shut Down’ Border During Migrant Surges If Deal Passes,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/26/2024)
- “The numbers do not include ‘gotaways’ of which there have been estimates of over 800,000 in FY 23, or migrants who are paroled in through the Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan (CHNV) parole program -- which allows 30,000 migrants to fly directly in each month as part of the Biden administration’s ‘expanded lawful pathways.’” (“Migrant Crisis Broke New Record In December With 302k Encounters, Officials Confirm,” Fox News, 1/26/2024)
“Nearly 2.5 million people crossed the southern border in fiscal year 2023. In December, more than 10,000 migrants were intercepted at the southern border on some days, among the most ever.” (“Biden Faces Pressure On Immigration, And Not Just From Republicans,” The New York Times, 1/04/2024)
The Biden Administration Has Released Over 2.3 Million People Into The U.S.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection has released more than 2.3 million migrants into the United States at the southern border under the Biden administration, allowing in the vast majority of migrant families and some adult groups, according to a new report.” (“U.S. Released More Than 2.3 Million Migrants At Border Since 2021, Data Show,” The Washington Post, 1/06/2024)
“The figures, published by the Department of Homeland Security for the first time, illustrate the extent to which CBP officials have been overwhelmed by the volume of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.” (“U.S. Released More Than 2.3 Million Migrants At Border Since 2021, Data Show,” The Washington Post, 1/06/2024)
‘The Number Of Daily Arrivals Is “Unprecedented,”‘ ‘We’ve Never Seen Anything Like This’
“The number of daily arrivals is ‘unprecedented,’ [U.S. Customs And Border Protection’s Acting Commissioner Troy Miller] said, with illegal crossings topping 10,000 some days across the border in December.” (“Illegal Crossings Surge In Remote Areas As Congress And The White House Weigh Major Asylum Limits,” The Associated Press, 12/19/2023)
- “‘I’ve been working in this sector of the border for almost 20 years, and we’ve never seen anything like this,’ said Dan Abbott, a local volunteer with the group Humane Borders…” (“Migrants From Around The World Converge On Remote Arizona Desert, Fueling Humanitarian Crisis At The Border,” CBS News, 12/08/2023)
“Along a remote stretch of border about an hour east of San Diego, border agents are also seeing another major influx of migrants into rural areas, as hundreds—sometimes thousands—a day cross through a section of border wall near the town of Jacumba Hot Springs, Calif.” (“Migrant Surge Overwhelms Border Agents As Smugglers Target Remote Stretches,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/18/2023)
Democrat-Run Cities Across The Country ‘Are Reaching A Breaking Point Trying To Manage The Influx Of Migrants’
“President Biden is under growing pressure to curb record numbers of migrants crossing into the United States — not just from the usual Republican critics, but also from Democratic mayors and governors in cities thousands of miles from the border.” (“Biden Faces Pressure On Immigration, And Not Just From Republicans,” The New York Times, 1/04/2024)
- “Even US cities far from the Mexican border are reaching a breaking point trying to manage the influx of migrants, several mayors told CNN on Friday.” (CNN, 12/29/2023)
“What used to be a clear-cut, ideological fight between Democrats and Republicans has become a bipartisan demand for action, and some of the most intense pressure on Mr. Biden is coming from places like Boston, Denver, Chicago and New York, where leaders in the president’s own party are issuing cries for help.” (“Biden Faces Pressure On Immigration, And Not Just From Republicans,” The New York Times, 1/04/2024)
- “In Denver, more than 36,000 migrants have arrived in recent months, with 4,100 still in city shelters, and more are arriving daily. In Boston, migrants have camped out at the airport. In New York, more than 164,500 migrants have poured into shelters since April 2022, with many still living in one of the 215 hotels, converted office buildings or tent camps set up to accommodate them.” (“Biden Faces Pressure On Immigration, And Not Just From Republicans,” The New York Times, 1/04/2024)
“New York City has received more than 161,000 migrants since 2022, and the influx will likely cost an estimated $12 billion over three years, Mayor Eric Adams said. ‘This national crisis is impacting – and it has the potential to destabilize – the financial obligations that we have in our cities,’ Adams said. He said New York City might reach a ‘breaking point,’ which could include forced cutbacks to school programs, the police department, trash pickup and resources for senior citizens. ‘Every agency and delivery of service in my city is going to be drastically impacted by the actions of picking up the tab of $5 billion this fiscal year, $12 billion of three years,’ Adams said.” (CNN, 12/29/2023)
“Nearly 40,000 migrants have arrived in Denver over the past year, making a city with a population of just over 710,000 the top destination per capita for newly arrived migrants crossing the U.S. southern border and traveling north in buses from Texas. The influx is taking a toll on the city’s public safety net. Starting Feb. 5, Denver will limit the number of days migrants can stay in shelters and send those who exceed their stay out onto the streets…. Denver Health, the city’s ‘safety net’ hospital, is asking for more money from both the state and federal government to help cover $10 million in unpaid medical bills from migrants. Denver Mayor Mike Johnston estimates the city will need $100 million over 2024 to pay for housing, schooling, health care and other services as a result of the unexpected influx of migrants.” (“A City Of 710,000 Struggles To Cope With 40,000 Migrant Arrivals,” NBC News, 1/27/2024)
- “Denver is expected to spend about 10% of its entire city budget on migrant shelter and aid next year, Mayor Mike Johnston said.” (CNN, 12/29/2023)
“In Chicago, nearly 31,000 people have arrived by chartered bus or were sent on airplanes by relief groups from the border since August 2022, according to city data. While many people at a time have slept on the floors of Chicago police stations, the city has recently moved all but a handful into shelters, where nearly 15,000 migrants are currently housed. ‘We have reached a critical point in this mission that, absent real, significant intervention immediately, our local economies were not designed and built to respond to,’ Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said.” (“Surge of Migrants Heading North Has Chicago, New York at ‘Breaking Point,’” The Wall Street Journal, 12/30/2023)
‘Americans Increasingly See Border As Crisis, Call For Tougher Measures’
“Americans are increasingly concerned about the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the percentage who think the Biden administration should be tougher on immigrants trying to cross it is up to the highest percentage yet.” (“Americans Increasingly See Border As Crisis, Call For Tougher Measures, CBS News Poll Finds,” CBS News, 1/07/2024)
“A CBS News poll published Sunday found that over two-thirds — or 68% — of Americans disapprove of Mr. Biden’s approach to the U.S.-Mexico border, an all-time high. Sixty-three percent of respondents indicated support for tougher border policies.” (“Pressured By Record Migrant Crossings, White House Weighs Tough Concession In Border Talks With Congress,” CBS News, 1/07/2024)
“Most say the border situation is very serious, and nearly half now say it’s a crisis — up from May — a change in sentiment driven primarily by Democrats and independents.” (“Americans Increasingly See Border As Crisis, Call For Tougher Measures, CBS News Poll Finds,” CBS News, 1/07/2024)
“As a result, President Biden’s approval on handing the U.S.-Mexico border has also dropped, and his approval on handling immigration in general is at an all-time low, though it hasn’t dragged down his overall approval rating.” (“Americans Increasingly See Border As Crisis, Call For Tougher Measures, CBS News Poll Finds,” CBS News, 1/07/2024)
“While Americans overwhelmingly think asylum-seekers crossing the U.S.-Mexico border should get a hearing, most don’t want them to remain in the United States. A majority says these applicants should leave the U.S., including some who think they should have no opportunity to come back.” (“Americans Increasingly See Border As Crisis, Call For Tougher Measures, CBS News Poll Finds,” CBS News, 1/07/2024)
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Related Issues: Border Security, National Security, Immigration