WASHINGTON– A blockbuster report obtained by Fox News shows illegal border crossings have totaled well over one million since Joe Biden took office eight months ago,
The report, which came from a source with the DHS, shows Border Patrol agents recorded more than 200, 000 illegal border crossings in July alone and another 208,887 encounters in August.
The numbers represent a 317% increase over August 2020 which saw 50,014 encounters — and a 233% increase over August 2019, where there were 62,707 at the peak of that year’s border crisis.
According to the DHS source, August’s total of 208,887 represents just a fraction of the true number of illegal aliens that are able to slip through undetected.
Biden has faced fierce criticism for its handling of the border crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, which Republican blame on his administration’s rollback of Trump-era policies like border wall construction and the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
In August, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the administration will continue to move forward with its border strategy, which he said involves rebuilding “safe, legal and orderly pathways for migrants,” improving processing, and going after smugglers.
“We have a plan, we are executing our plan and that takes time,” said Mayorkas.
Privately, however, Mayorkas has admitted that the crisis at the border is “unsustainable.”
In audio leaked to Fox News, Moyorkas, who did not realize he was being recorded, said “A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico, and I said look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable,” Mayorkas said. “We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it.”
WASHINGTON– Jeh Johnson warned Thursday that anyone who is still arguing there is no crisis at the border is “clearly partisan.”
Johnson, who served as Barack Obama’s head of Homeland Security from 2013 to 2017, called the influx of illegal immigrants at the U.S. border “a crisis by any measure.”
“This is, in my view, having owned this problem for three years, first, I know what a thousand a day looks like. I saw it myself at border patrol holding stations,” Johnson told Fox News. “I cannot begin to imagine what 4,000 a day looks like. It must overwhelm the system.”
Thursday marked the second time within a month that Johnson has spoken out in defense of President Donald Trump’s efforts to secure the national border. In March Johnson told MSNBC “we are truly in a crisis” when it comes to the border.
“I think we have to get away from Democrat vs. Republican, crisis vs. no crisis.” Johnson told MSNBC. “This is a crisis by any measure, and the solution inevitably is bipartisan. It has to be bipartisan. It requires a change in law.”
Johnson went on to warn that “swift and immediate action” must be taken if America hopes to retain it’s sovereignty as a nation.
“A little bit of context here. When I was in office in Kirstjen Nielsen’s job, at her desk, I’d get to work around 6:30 in the morning, and there would be my intelligence book sitting on my desk, the PDB, and also the apprehension numbers from the day before,” Johnson said.
“My staff would tell you if it was under 1,000 apprehension the day before, that was a relatively good number, and if it was above 1,000, it was a relatively bad number, and I was going to be in a bad mood the whole day.” he said.“On Tuesday there were 4,000 apprehensions. I know that a thousand overwhelms the system. I can’t imagine what 4,000 a day looks like. So, we are truly in a crisis.”
For his part, President Trump slammed Democrat efforts to block him from securing America’s borders as “treasonous.”
“I think what the Democrats are doing with the Border is TREASONOUS. Their Open Border mindset is putting our Country at risk. Will not let this happen!” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Everybody is now acknowledging that, right from the time I announced my run for President, I was 100% correct on the Border. Remember the heat I took? Democrats should now get rid of the loopholes. The Border is being fixed. Mexico will not let people through!”
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has ordered the deployment of hundreds of officers to secure the southern US border and will immediately expedite the returning migrants seeking asylum to Mexico, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Monday.
“The crisis at our border is worsening, and DHS will do everything in its power to end it,” Nielsen said in a statement. “We will not stand idly by while Congress fails to act yet again, so all options are on the table.”
The deployment of 750 officers to process a surge of migrant families entering the United States was announced last week and Nielsen says they plan to reassign more than 2,000 more.
“We will immediately redeploy hundreds of CBP personnel to the border to respond to this emergency, the statement reads. “We will urgently pursue additional reinforcements from within DHS and the interagency. And we will require those seeking to enter the United States to wait in Mexico until an immigration court has reviewed their claims.”
Liberal organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have sued the Trump administration in the past, claiming such strict immigration policies are “racist” and violate US law.
The news comes just one week after President Trump threatened to shut down parts, if not all, of the border if his demands for stricter border control efforts were not met.
“If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week,” the president tweeted.
“I am not kidding around,” the president told reporters. “It could mean all trade. We will close it for a long time.”
The “surge” in new officers is expected to focus primarily in border areas in California and Texas, where a large portion of illegal immigration occurs.
Trump campaigned heavily on securing the nation’s border as part of his “Make America Great Again” 2016 presidential campaign. The issue is expected to remain a focus in his 2020 re-election agenda.
WASHINGTON (Fox News) — As a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) special agent on the southern border who fought sex trafficking for over a decade, I can say with certainty that the issue of the border wall should be not about power and partisan politics. It should be about the children – the tens of thousands of them who have been and are being trafficked into the U.S. and forced into the commercial sex trade.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise on the planet, with millions of child victims stuck in its clutches. Indeed, this is no peripheral issue – this alone should be front and center in our border and immigration debate.
I spent over 12 years working as a special agent/undercover operator for Homeland Security Investigations in the Child Crimes/Child Trafficking unit. For a decade of that service, I was stationed at the border office in Calexico, California. Based on my extensive experience fighting transnational crime along the southern border, I know that we should absolutely finish building the wall for the sake of the children.
The U.S. is one of the highest, if not the highest, consumers of child sex. As such, traffickers know they will become very wealthy by getting their enslaved children into our country. We do these traffickers a great favor by leaving our border virtually wide open.
We should stop seeing the border wall as something that would keep the “bad guys” out – though it would certainly help do that too. We must instead focus on its ability to prevent children from being brought in to become sex slaves. The wall would undoubtedly be a significant barrier to entrance into the black market of child sex trafficking, thus decreasing kidnappers and traffickers’ incentives in the first place.
For those children who are still kidnapped, the wall would provide hope.
Roughly 10,000 children are being smuggled into the U.S. every year to be sold as sex slaves – we owe it to them to finish this wall and protect them from the monsters within.
WASHINGTON (The Hill) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked legislation on Wednesday that would reopen most of the government currently closed during the partial shutdown.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) went to the Senate floor to ask for consent to take up the House-passed bill that would fund every agency and department impacted by the partial shutdown, except the Department of Homeland Security, through Sept. 30.
McConnell, however, objected. It’s the fourth time he’s blocked the bill to reopen most of government that is currently closed. He’s also blocking, as recently as Tuesday, a House-passed bill to fund DHS through Feb. 8.
Democrats have been coming to the floor on a near daily basis while the Senate is in session to try to bring up the House package, even though the GOP leader has said he will not allow them to come to the Senate floor.
Under the Senate rules any one senator can try to pass a bill, but any one senator can also object.
The partial government shutdown, which is currently in its 33rd day, is impacting roughly a quarter of the government and forcing approximately 800,000 employees to work without pay or be furloughed.
The back-and-forth on the floor comes a day before the Senate is expected to hold votes on dueling proposals that would fully reopen the government.
The first proposal, which is backed by the White House, includes $5.7 billion for the wall in exchange for a three-year extension of protections for Deferred action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and some Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.
McConnell is publicly pushing Democrats to support that proposal, even though it’s expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.
“The president went out of his way to include additional items that have been priority areas for Democrats,” McConnell said on Wednesday.
If that White House-backed measure does not get 60 votes, the Senate will then take a second vote on a proposal to temporarily reopen the government with a continuing resolution (CR) through Feb. 8.
Democrats say that Trump has to reopen the government before they will negotiate. They worry that making a deal while the government is closed would set the precedent for shutting down the government as a negotiating tactic.
But that bill is also unlikely to get 60 votes. The Senate passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund a quarter of the government through Feb. 8 by voice vote late last year but Trump then came out against the measure.
WASHINGTON (Daily Caller) — The massive procession of migrants winding through Mexico may be weeks away from the southwest border, but a “caravan”-sized number of people cross into the U.S. illegally every single day.
That fact has been overshadowed by coverage of the 4,000-strong caravan and President Donald Trump’s reaction to it, particularly his deployment of thousands of active duty troops to three border states. Commentators are quick to note that the caravan is still hundreds of miles from the nearest U.S. port of entry, and its members are unlikely to swarm across the border when it does arrive.
But the caravan is only a small — if highly publicized — part of a much larger phenomenon that has completely swamped the U.S. asylum system.
After falling to historic lows in the early months of the Trump administration, illegal immigration across the southwest border has risen in nearly every single month since, driven largely by a wave of people traveling together as families. Arrests of so-called “family units” — the vast majority of them from Central America — have now reached unprecedented levels, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) figures.
In October, the Border Patrol arrested 23,121 migrant family members, the highest one-month total ever recorded. It was a 39 percent jump over the 16,658 such migrants arrested in September, which was also a record for a single month. (RELATED: DHS: More Than Half A Million People Arrested, Denied At Border In FY2018)
When the family unit arrests are added to other categories — single adults and unaccompanied minors — the total number of people caught trying to cross the southwest border illegally in October was about 51,000, or 1,700 per day.
That means the number of migrants arrested along the southwest border in an average week — 11,900 — is about three times as many people traveling in the highly publicized caravan. Put differently, the equivalent of about 13 caravans is caught after crossing the border illegally every month.
Historically speaking, illegal immigration remains well below numbers seen at the turn of the century, when border authorities were regularly arresting more than 1 million migrants per year. While overall arrests have declined since then, the demographics of illegal immigration have changed in ways that make it harder for the system to absorb the latest wave of migrants.
In 2000, more than 95 percent of border arrests were Mexican nationals, mostly single men looking for work. Today, migrants from Central America have surpassed Mexicans as the majority of illegal border-crossers — 56 percent of CBP arrests at the southwest border in FY2018 were of Central Americans.
Family units and unaccompanied minors accounted for about half of the arrests within the Central American group, meaning about a quarter of all border apprehensions triggered special detention procedures required by law for migrant families and children. These complicated cases have outstripped the government’s limited detention space for families, so most of them are released pending an immigration court date months in the future.
As the demographics of illegal immigration have changed, so has the aim of the migrants themselves. Until recent years, most migrants arrested at the border were men who were obviously looking for work, often in agriculture or construction.
Today, there are economic migrants among those in the caravan and among Central American migrants more broadly, but just as often the people crossing the southwest border illegally are asylum seekers. And unlike previous waves of illegal immigrants, many aren’t trying to avoid arrest by the Border Patrol — they want to turn themselves into federal authorities at first chance.
That’s because, under U.S. law, a person can petition for asylum as long as he is in U.S. territory, regardless of how he got there. When a migrant claims “credible fear” of being persecuted in his home country, the arresting agent must refer him to an asylum officer for screening.
The Trump administration contends that this arrangement leads to abuse of the asylum system by meritless applicants. As evidence, it has pointed to the wide disparity between credible fear pass rates and successful asylum determinations for Central American applicants. In FY2018, 89 percent of migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador received a positive credible fear interview, but only 9 percent of those who were referred to an immigration judge ultimately received asylum.
The White House has called on lawmakers to change immigration laws to make it easier to detain families together and raise the bar for a credible fear determination, but those policy recommendations face insurmountable opposition in Congress. As a result, the administration has moved to change asylum polices via regulation — most recently on Friday, when Trump issued a proclamation making most migrants who illegally cross the border ineligible for asylum.
The ACLU and other groups challenged the order almost immediately, asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California for a nationwide injunction. A judge has yet to rule on the motion.
WASHINGTON — Frustrated over failed efforts to secure the nation’s border, President Donald Trump has decided to fire Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen based on lack of performance.
“Trump canceled a planned trip with Nielsen this week to visit U.S. troops at the border in South Texas and told aides over the weekend he wants her out as soon as possible,” The Washington Post reported, citing five current and former White House officials. “The president has grumbled for months about what he views as Nielsen’s lackluster performance on immigration enforcement and is believed to be looking for a replacement who will implement his policy ideas with more alacrity.”
The president has publicly criticized Nielsen’s for months and publicly chastised her during a meeting in May after it got back to him that the number of illegal aliens entering the U.S. through the Southern Border had skyrocketed for the second consecutive month.
“Why don’t you have solutions? How is this still happening?” Trump demanded during the meeting, adding, “We need to shut it down. We’re closed.”
“Our Southern Border is under siege. Congress must act now to change our weak and ineffective immigration laws,” the president vented in a tweet later that same day. “Must build a Wall. Mexico, which has a massive crime problem, is doing little to help!”
A DHS official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Washington Post that Trump should nominate a replacement who has “executive-branch experience” to reinforce the department’s goals.
“This will be our fourth secretary in two years,” the official said. “The last thing we want is someone who needs hand-holding.”
“Former colleagues who worked with Nielsen were astonished when Kelly pushed to install her at DHS because she had never led a large organization, let alone one with so many responsibilities,” the official added. “Nielsen worked on disaster-management response in the Bush White House, then in the private sector and academia as a cyber security expert before returning to DHS to work as chief of staff under Kelly when he was Homeland Security secretary during Trump’s first six months in office.”
According to the Post report, the president is considering several candidates to replace Nielsen including Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; David P. Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration and a former vice commandant of the Coast Guard; or Kris Kobach, Kansas’ secretary of state who has been very vocal in his no-nonsense approach to immigration.
Trump campaigned heavily on immigration reform during his 2016 presidential campaign and the issue is expected to remain a principal focus of his 2020 reelection run.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump administration on Friday issued a harsh new warning to those considering crossing into America’s borders illegally.
Going forward, says Attorney General Jeff Sessions, border patrol agents will institute a “zero tolerance” policy toward illegals caught crossing America’s border.
“The situation at our Southwest Border is unacceptable,” Sessions said in a statement announcing the policy. “Congress has failed to pass effective legislation that serves the national interest — that closes dangerous loopholes and fully funds a wall along our southern border. ”
“As a result, a crisis has erupted at our Southwest Border that necessitates an escalated effort to prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border,” Sessions added.
The move is just the latest in a series of mandates put forth by the president, who campaigned heavily on his promise to secure America’s borders and follows a series of tweets earlier in the week in which Trump slammed the Obama-era “catch and release” program.
“We don’t have laws, we have catch-and-release,” the president tweeted on Tuesday. “You catch and then you immediately release and people come back years later for a court case, except they virtually never come back.”
“Our Border Laws are very weak while those of Mexico & Canada are very strong,” he added Wednesday. “Congress must change these Obama era, and other, laws NOW!”
While speaking at a rally in West Virginia on Thursday to tout the benefits of Republican tax cuts, the president said the negative impact illegal immigrants have on voting must not be discounted.
“In many places, like California, the same person votes many times. You probably heard about that,” Trump said. “They always like to say, ‘Oh, that’s a conspiracy theory.’ Not a conspiracy theory, folks. Millions and millions of people. And it’s very hard because the state guards their records. They don’t want us to see them.”
During Friday’s announcement, Sessions warned those who may be contemplating entering America illegally to reconsider, adding that illegal entry into the U.S. will not be rewarded and will be instead “met with the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice.”
“To the Department’s prosecutors, I urge you: promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens,” he said.
Also, in a press release issued Thursday, the Pentagon announced the establishment of a new “border security support cell” which will be used to house those caught illegally crossing the border.
“We will not allow illegal immigration levels to become the norm,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement. “More than 1,000 people a day, 300,000 a year violating our sovereignty as a nation will never be acceptable to this president.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Homeland Security announced late Monday Trump administration orders to waive environmental rules so extra barriers can be built to bar illegal immigrants from crossing the Mexican border into San Diego.
A DHS spokesperson says the move was necessary because the area is one of the busiest U.S. border sections with Mexico and is the sight of some of the highest volume of illegal entries.
“The sector remains an area of high illegal entry for which there is an immediate need to improve current infrastructure and construct additional border barriers and roads,” the DHS said.
According to DHS reports, more than 31,000 illegal aliens were taken into custody at the location and more than 9,000 pounds (4,000 kg) of marijuana and 1,317 pounds (597 kg) of cocaine were seized in the area in 2016.
“CBP officers maintain a strong work ethic and are committed to combating drug trafficking at our ports of entry,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego, in a statement. “The drug trafficking organizations attempt to deceive us but we remain vigilant and will continue to apprehend those who attempt entry with contraband.”
The barriers, which will encompass about 15 miles of the frontier extending east from the Pacific Ocean, are part of President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Government estimates put the cost of the wall at about $21 billion, an amount that President Trump insists he will force Mexico to cover, but thus far Mexico has refused to comply.
Environmentalists and anti-border activists have been quick to cry foul over the waiver despite a 2005 mandate that gives Homeland Security broad authority to waive any law that could impede expeditious construction of barriers and roads.
American Oversight, a watchdog committee that has sued the Trump administration over similar issues, said the DHS statement was “proof” that Trump will “barrel ahead” with his plan to build the wall, no matter the cost to environment.
“Given the widespread skepticism towards the effectiveness of the border wall by leaders in both parties … effective safeguards are more important than ever,” American Oversight’s executive director, Austin Evers, said in a released statement.
Despite the protests a Trump administration spokesperson said the president has no plans on backing down on his highly touted campaign promise to build the wall and said the waiver is just the first further proof of the president’s intent to keep his word.
The U.S. House of Representatives last week approved a $68 billion spending package that includes funds to begin the wall’s construction.