February Border Encounters Show Illegal Immigration Isn’t Abating, It’s Just Being Rerouted, Charges FAIR
(March 16, 2023, Washington, D.C.) — The Biden administration’s new “border enforcement measures” have not succeeded in curbing record levels of illegal immigration, they’ve just rerouted much of the flow through legal ports of entry, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, released Thursday, reveals that the total number of border encounters in February, 212,266, remained at historic high levels. But 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.
“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 doesn’t look as bad.”
The release of the February data comes one day after Raul Ortiz, Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, testified before the House Homeland Security Committee that the federal government does not have “operational control” of the southern border – a statutorily defined requirement that his agency is obligated to meet. Moreover, Chief Ortiz asserted that operational control is not even a goal of this administration and, instead, the agency’s “new strategy is geared toward mission advantage” – an entirely made-up standard that has no legal definition.
“Even CBP’s efforts to mask the scope of illegal migration by moving 83,389 illegal entries off-the-books, does not tell the full story of the Biden administration’s disastrous border policies,” Stein continued. “The number of people who elude apprehension remains high, while lethal narcotics, including fentanyl, continues 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 concluded.
Contact: Ron Kovach, 202-328-7004 or email@example.com.