Following reports by media outlets Wednesday that illegal border crossings along the Southwest border dropped in January through February after the Biden administration announced new, stricter measures, immigration experts and organizations found such claims to be false, citing the real reason for a shift in numbers at certain entry points being that the administration has been moving the crowds through different routes.
Speaking to the Foreign Desk, Ron Kovach, Press Secretary for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), explained that the Biden administration’s new “border enforcement measures” have “not succeeded in curbing record levels of illegal immigration, they have just rerouted much of the flow through legal ports of entry.”
According to the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), new data showed who is attempting to enter the country, with Border Patrol officials encountering migrants 128,877 times trying to reach the border in February between legal crossings. The data, by the CBP, says that the numbers are the same as in January this year, which is 128,913.
Yet, despite the data released by the CBP, organizations like FAIR note that the CBP data released on Thursday reveals that the total number of border encounters in February were “212,266, which remained at historic high levels.”
“Due to the Biden administration’s flagrant abuse of parole authority, 83,389 illegal migrants were encountered at legal ports of entry by the Office of Field Operations (OFO) instead of attempting to enter between ports of entry,” read the press release.
In early January, the administration announced a new measure in which Mexico would take back illegal immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela under a U.S. pandemic rule known as Title 42, which denies migrants the right to seek asylum as part of the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to the report, the number of illegal migrants caught was quickly intercepted by border officials after the policy went into effect.
“The Biden administration is blatantly attempting to deceive the American public into believing they have illegal immigration under control,” said Dan Stein, President of FAIR.
“While boasting that ‘only’ 128,877 migrants were encountered by Border Patrol entering between ports of entry in February, OFO encountered 83,389 illegal aliens and allowed many to enter the country under the administration’s expansive and illegal use of parole authority. The net effect is the same; it just does not look as bad.”
The administration announced a new policy, agreeing to admit up to 30,000 people a month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Haiti through humanitarian parole if they apply online, enter an airport, and find a financial sponsor. The administration has also proposed denying asylum to anyone who traveled through another country to the US without looking for protection.
Information from the CBP report also stated that drug seizures were up 6 percent last month compared to January, with fentanyl apprehensions up by 58 percent.
According to the President of FAIR, the information from the CBP has masked the scope of illegal immigration by moving “83,389 illegal entries off-the-books,” which does not “tell the full story of the Biden administration’s disastrous border policies.”
The organization notes that there are a vast number of illegal immigrants who have escaped apprehension as “lethal narcotics, including fentanyl, continue to pour across the southern border, where criminal cartels maintain clear ‘mission advantage.'”
“No matter how CBP tries to spin it, the February numbers make it clear that the Biden administration is not turning the tide on illegal immigration. And, as the Biden administration is set to end the use of Title 42 in May, the last remaining mechanism in place to turn back migrants at the border, the crisis is likely to get a whole lot worse,” Stein said.