Border Apprehensions Reach 2 Million in Joe Biden’s First Year in Office
FAIR Take | January 2022
On January 20, 2022, President Joe Biden marked the first year of his administration. Upon taking office, President Biden signed a number of immigration executive orders, while revoking successful ones put in place by his predecessor. We are now seeing the effects of these misguided policy choices. In one year of Biden’s leadership, apprehensions of illegal aliens at the southern border soared to over 2 million, following reporting that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended 178,840 aliens in December. With this new data, CBP apprehended 2,033,863 illegal aliens between January and December 2021.
As these numbers illustrate, President Biden triggered the worst border crisis in United States history. Despite the increase in apprehensions at our Southwest border, his administration has done everything in its power to accommodate illegal migration, rather than discourage it.
They ended construction of the border wall. They ended “safe third country” agreements with El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. They issued new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies restricting immigration enforcement, shielding most illegal aliens from removal. They ended the successful Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, only for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas to rule that the move violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Despite the success of the MPP, the Biden administration chose to rescind the program again, this time ostensibly within the confines of the APA. The new memorandum likely still violates section 235 of the INA by not detaining inadmissible aliens.
The policies of President Biden and his political appointees – notably Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas – purposely created this border crisis, and we are now seeing the effects of their disastrous policies. We know how to reverse what is happening at the border, but it would require the Biden administration to take the crisis seriously and focus on the root causes of the crisis itself – their own decisions. The root causes for migration lie not in Central and South America, but right here in Washington, DC.
Our broken immigration system, especially exploitable asylum laws, encourages illegal migrants to make the treacherous journey north. They know they can travel to the border and claim asylum, thereby securing a work permit. They can then disappear into the interior of the country, safe in the knowledge that they got exactly what they came here for – a chance to earn more money than they did back home.
The Biden administration has so far refused to acknowledge this reality. Until they do, the apprehension numbers of 2021 may become the norm for the duration of Biden’s presidency.