October 4, 2023
By William Davis
On a Friday night in late September, the Biden Administration dropped a bombshell on the American people, proving the crisis at the border is now worse than ever.
That’s when the administration announced the number of illegal crossings at the southern border for the month of August, and it was a doozy. Over 230,000 illegal aliens crossed the U.S.-Mexico border that month, by far the most of any month this year. The number of illegal crossings were nearly 30,000 higher than they were in August 2022, but not as high as the record number of encounters that occurred in November and December of 2022.
Still, this was more than enough to make fiscal year 2023, which ranged from September 2022 until September 2023, the hottest year yet for illegal immigration. The number of illegal crossings at the southern border during that time period exceeded fiscal year 2022’s record of 2.37 million, according to Fox News.
This number is also a dramatic increase from July and June, which both saw well under 200,000 illegal crossings. The short-lived decline in illegal crossings inspired Joe Biden’s allies in the corporate media to take a victory lap and declare the crisis over. One such outlet, Axios, blared out headlines celebrating the administration’s “breakthrough on immigration,” and claiming that the case against Biden’s anti-border policies was “crumbling.”
Back on planet Earth, people who follow this issue closely understand that the border has been wide open since Biden took office in January 2021, and will likely remain so until the day he leaves, whenever that may be. As Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) Executive Director Dale Wilcox previously wrote, the Biden Administration has been playing shell games at the border to artificially lower the number of illegal crossings while doing nothing to solve the problem. Throughout the summer, the administration made use of the repurposed CBP One App, which enables aspiring migrants to schedule appointments before crossing the border. This allowed the administration to claim that illegal crossings were down even as they continued to funnel record numbers of aliens into the country, despite nearly all of them having frivolous asylum claims. Now, even this dishonest scheme can no longer hide the reality of what is happening at our border. The administration has completely forfeited operational control of the southern border, and every part of the country is paying the price.
The city currently dealing with the worst of the crisis is Eagle Pass, Texas, a small city located near the border with a population of less than 29,000 people. Roughly 9,000 illegal aliens are crossing the border into Eagle Pass on a daily basis, overwhelming the city’s resources, and threatening to upend the way of life of its residents. Meanwhile, major cities, including New York and Chicago, are struggling to deal with a fraction of this influx.
New York Mayor Eric Adams recently derided Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for having bussed several thousand illegal aliens to the Big Apple over the course of the past two years. While Adams claims the crisis began “with a madman down in Texas,” the crisis actually began with the man currently residing in the White House. Joe Biden explicitly campaigned on allowing illegal aliens to surge the border, and he has more than delivered that promise to the detriment of the nation.
In August 2020, during the last full year of the Trump Administration’s time in office, 47,283 illegal aliens were apprehended at the border. By August 2023, the Biden Administration’s dereliction of duty increased that number by nearly 200,000. Biden and his allies love to complain that the U.S. immigration system is broken, but as IRLI Senior Fellow and Former Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan says, Biden inherited the most secure border in modern history, and promptly unsecured it.
It is true that there are challenges at the border that have persisted for decades, and no administration has been perfect in addressing them. It is also true that no administration has ever opened up the border and aggressively encouraged illegal immigration like the current one is doing. The ongoing crisis at the southern border is not the result of systemic problems. It is the predictable result of the policies the White House has spent nearly three years pushing to appease its radical anti-borders activist supporters.
The historic number of illegal crossings at the southern border should be a wake-up call, but this administration will almost certainly continue pushing full-steam ahead with its anti-border policies, while dishonestly attempting to shift blame elsewhere. It will be up to Congress and the American people to hold them accountable.
William J. Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at Townhall, October 4, 2023.
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