Biden Administration Deceives Americans on Border Encounters
In an attempt to continue to mislead the American people concerning the ongoing catastrophic crisis at our borders, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reporting a 70 percent decrease in border crossings between the Ports of Entry (POE) since it ended Title 42 on May 11. If the claim of victory by Secretary Mayorkas seems too good to be true, it is. The reality is total nationwide border encounters are not down, as they suggest. The Biden administration’s narrative of a significant reduction is a well-executed sleight of hand as part of a complicated, intentional shell game where they have shifted the crisis from in between the Ports of Entry (POEs), to the POEs themselves.
Here’s how they’re playing the game.
First, the Biden Administration has made a deal with the entire world – if migrants refrain from illegally entering between POEs in order to make asylum claims (the overwhelming majority of which are fraudulent), it will allow them to make an appointment to walk up to the POE of their choice, using the newly created CBPOne App. Once at the POE, the Biden administration looks the other way as the migrants, with no legal documentation authorizing their entry into the U.S., file fraudulent asylum claims, are subsequently processed, and then released into the U.S. through the POE on their own recognizance.
Second, Secretary Mayorkas has unlawfully created blanket parole authorization for migrants from four specific countries – Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua. Rather than vetting each applicant on a case-by-case basis as the law requires, citizens of these nations who have a U.S.-based “sponsor” are automatically approved to fly into an airport in the U.S. where they are quickly released.
In March and April of this year, the two-step shell game resulted in more than 90,000 inadmissible aliens per month being encountered at POEs. That was the highest monthly total ever recorded. This was accomplished by effectively increasing the use of the CBPOne App to simply redirect tens of thousands of migrants away from crossing in between the POEs and, instead, have them enter at land or air POEs under the administration’s massive abuse of their authority.
With each passing day, DHS is improving their gamesmanship of redirecting those who were previously crossing the border illegally to POEs where they are quickly processed and released into the U.S.
At this pace, CBP officers at land and air POEs are on track to receive more than 1 million inadmissible aliens in FY23. That would be a whopping 340 percent increase from FY20, even as the administration is claiming credit for reducing the number of people encountered by the Border Patrol.
While the Biden administration intentionally directs the media and public’s focus to the numbers crossing in between the POEs (Border Patrol apprehensions), it’s critical we don’t fall prey to their gimmicks. We must pay attention to total nationwide encounters, including those they are facilitating through the POEs, as well as those being encountered by Border Patrol.
In effect, what the Biden administration is doing is moving illegal migrants off of the Border Patrol’s books and onto another set of books. The Office of Field Operations (OFO), another division within CBP that oversees our nation’s POEs, is tasked with handling migrants who use the CBPOne app or who are admitted under the administration’s illegal parole schemes. Tellingly, OFO encounters have skyrocketed and have significantly offset the reduction in Border Patrol encounters. As of the end of April, just seven months into the current fiscal year, OFO had recorded 570,587 encounters, which was more than the total for all of FY 2022, which was itself a record-setting year for OFO encounters.
Make no mistake, the Biden administration didn’t create this app to address the crisis by reducing the flow through deterrence or inserting integrity back into the system by eliminating fraudulent claims. Rather, they did so in a desperate attempt to avoid the bad optics of a continued invasion of an unprecedented volume of illegal aliens storming the border in between the POEs and overwhelming the Border Patrol. This isn’t about solutions. For them, it’s an intentional effort to drive a false perception among the American people that they have created a series of new “legal pathways” which have alleviated the crisis. However, there is nothing legal about these programs because they have been created in violation of the law. Indeed, the Biden administration’s strategy isn’t based in law but rather a subversion of it. They have become the masters at misdirection and spin through creating new incentives and opportunities to facilitate and manage the crisis, rather than end it.
This shell game is catch-and-release 2.0. The only difference is now we’re inviting illegal aliens through our front door while still letting them sneak in through our back door.
To tell the true story and understand the full extent of the Biden administration’s shell game, it’s imperative to stay focused on Nationwide Encounters, and not be lured into the deception being pushed by Secretary Mayorkas. While they are waving the “Mission Accomplished” flag, April recorded 275,000 Nationwide Encounters, one of the highest on record. Since January 2021, there have been more than 6,540,000 total Nationwide Encounters.
So, when new data are revealed for the month of May, rest assured that true experts will be looking at all encounters. And, while the numbers entering between the POEs may be down, as the result of an unlawful shell game, total encounters remain at historic highs. Border Patrol alone will still grapple with a daily average of more than 3,000 encounters. Remember that former Secretary Jeh Johnson said 1,000 border encounters in between the POEs a day was a really bad day. There is nothing to celebrate, despite what Secretary Mayorkas wants you to believe.