CBP Phone App’s ‘Concierge Service’ is Clicking at a 99% Approval Rate
Migrants seeking exceptions to the Title 42 public health order are being approved at a 99 percent clip via a government phone app. That near-perfect rate raises more concerns about the mobile CBP One program, which has been caught in a hail of criticism by Republicans and Democrats (though for vastly different reasons).
CBP One allows migrants to qualify for a humanitarian exception to Title 42, the COVID-era public health order that authorizes rapid expulsion of migrants at the southern border due to the pandemic. CBP One enables migrants to upload their information, including a photo, and schedule an appointment at a port of entry to gain exception to Title 42, due to expire on May 11.
The 99 percent of migrants who have been granted Title 42 exceptions then become part of another shell game. They are processed and placed into (largely theoretical) removal proceedings under Title 8 of the U.S. immigration code and given Notices to Appear (NTAs) for a hearing at some time in the distant future. Even if they actually show up for their hearings, and even if their asylum claims are rejected (as most are), very few are actually removed.
The administration touts the phone app as a key to promoting orderly processing at the border. More than 75,000 applications have either been completed or scheduled until April 25, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The agency said appointment slots are filled within minutes of opening.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is not impressed. In a March 30 letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Hawley wrote: “Your choice to spend untold sums of taxpayer money – you said you had no idea what it cost – on concierge service for illegals is baffling. It demonstrates your priorities: open borders, no matter the cost to Americans.”
CBP One has also come under fire from immigration activists and Democrats who complain about program glitches and facial recognition technology that struggles to recognize migrants with darker skin colors. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., called on DHS to kill the app, saying it promotes a false notion that an appointment is required to seek asylum in the U.S.
In fact, the Biden administration concocted CBP One in a desperate attempt to avoid the bad optics of huge caravans of illegal aliens storming the border and overwhelming the Border Patrol. This scheme is about crowd management, not security.
Even though requiring use of the app, the administration provides another gaping exception for aliens who say they could not access its scheduling tool. In any event, FAIR notes, “The app allows aliens who have no documentation, but still want to enter the United States, to schedule an appointment at a port of entry.”
No wonder the rate of admission is 99 percent. Mayorkas & Co. are getting the results they want.