The Crisis Continues: CBP Reports Nearly 165,000 Apprehensions in February
FAIR Take | March 2022
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) updated its monthly apprehensions report showing that Border Patrol made 164,973 apprehensions in February 2022. This is a 63 percent increase from February 2021, when CBP made 101,099 apprehensions. This is the 13th straight month under President Biden’s tenure in which border apprehensions exceeded 100,000.
The majority of apprehensions continue to be single adults. CBP made 126,151 apprehensions of single adults, or about 76 percent of all apprehensions. CBP tallied 26,582 family unit apprehensions and 12,011 apprehensions of unaccompanied alien minors.
This new data reflects a growing trend: Border apprehensions continue surging since President Biden took office in January 2021. In the last 4 months of the 2021 fiscal year – when former President Trump was still in office – apprehensions ranged between 71,000 and 78,000 each month. Since Biden entered the White House, apprehensions have not been below 100,000.
CBP cited Title 42 in removing 95,513 apprehensions, or about 55 percent. Title 42 allows the U.S. to expel apprehended aliens without giving them an opportunity to apply for asylum and remain in the country. This comes on the heels of reports that the Biden administration has already begun preparing for the end of Title 42. Axios reported that “U.S. intelligence officials are privately bracing for a massive influx of more than 170,000 migrants at the Mexico border if COVID-era policies that allow instant expulsions during the public health emergency are ended.”
The end of Title 42 would be akin to pouring gasoline on a fire. It is the only policy remaining that keeps hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens from entering the U.S. every month. The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program – referred to as “remain in Mexico” – still exists, albeit barely, as the administration is slow-walking court-ordered efforts to restart the program as litigation continues.
Without Title 42 in place, immigration enforcement at the southern border has the possibility of bottoming out. There are reports that the administration may end Title 42 as soon as April. This would lead to a catastrophe at our border, the likes of which have not materialized in the past. During the summer of 2019, the New York Times reported that our border was at a “breaking point” after a month of 76,000 apprehensions. We are well past that level – and have been for every month under President Biden’s administration.
Without major policy changes, the border crisis is going to get much worse.