Biden is a fool for celebrating such a small victory.
Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee are expressing disapproval towards the Biden administration’s response to the border crisis, particularly in light of the June migrant numbers. The data released by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) showed a decrease in encounters compared to previous years, attributing it to measures implemented by the administration.
The June numbers, totaling 144,571 migrant encounters, are higher than pre-2021 figures but represent the lowest since February 2021. The decrease is notable, especially during the summer months, and has been connected to actions taken by the Biden administration, such as the ending of Title 42 and the introduction of expanded legal pathways. These measures allowed for a significant drop in illegal border crossings, down 42% from May, according to Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller.
According to Fox, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pointed to both “lawful pathways” and the asylum rule as the driving forces behind the reduced numbers. However, Republicans remain critical of the administration’s approach. They argue that the broad use of parole goes beyond the intended “case by case” basis set by Congress, with Chairman Mark Green accusing the administration of trying to deceive the public by celebrating June’s numbers.
The Office of Field Operations reported a nearly 200% increase in encounters compared to June 2022, raising concerns about the way illegal immigrants are being handled at ports of entry. Republicans accuse the DHS of allowing otherwise-inadmissible immigrants to enter through ports using parole and the CBP One App. Over 38,000 migrants were scheduled for an appointment via the app in June, and an additional program allows thousands of Haitians, Cubans, Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans to be flown in each month.
The House Homeland Security Committee fact sheet further highlights the severity of the crisis, with FY 2023 already surpassing the historic numbers of FY 2021 and on track to approach or exceed last year’s record-breaking encounters of 2.4 million. The fact sheet also points out a significant increase in encounters of Chinese nationals and the detection of 140 individuals on the FBI terror watch list.
The situation at the border remains highly contentious, with Republicans advocating for increased border security, asylum reform, and more deportations, while Democrats call for expanded legal pathways, refugee resettlement, and amnesty for those already in the U.S. Finding common ground on migration and illegal immigration continues to be a challenge for both parties.