Border Patrol Arrests Shatter All Records at Southern Border

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Border Patrol agents apprehended a total of 1,666,167 illegal immigrants along the southwest border in fiscal 2021—breaking all records since 1925 after the agency was formed (when 22,199 illegal aliens were arrested).

An additional 294,352 were stopped after trying to enter at a port of entry without legal papers, bringing the total to almost 2 million (1,956,519) for fiscal 2021, according to new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics.

The CBP doesn’t officially release the number of “gotaways”—illegal aliens who are detected by Border Patrol, but evade capture. However, former CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told a congressional Republican roundtable on Oct. 20 that the gotaway number hit at least 400,000 illegal aliens this year.

The Biden administration has faced growing criticism for the crisis at the southern border, which started to ramp up a year ago in tandem with election rhetoric.

However, the number of illegal crossings shot up once Biden took office and promptly dismantled many of President Donald Trump’s border security measures.

In January, Biden paused deportations, stopped border wall construction, halted the Remain in Mexico program, repurposed Immigration and Customs Enforcement priorities, and reversed the ban on travel from terror-prone countries.

In December 2020, Trump’s last full month in office, Border Patrol agents arrested almost 74,000 illegal immigrants on the southern border. By July, that had almost tripled to 213,500.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expelling most single adults under the Title 42 health directive policy issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March 2020 that calls for immediate expulsion of all illegal immigrants and non-essential travelers.

However, under Biden, the DHS stopped applying Title 42 to any unaccompanied children, most family units, and some adults.

The administration has been faced with record levels of unaccompanied minors and family units entering illegally—most of whom are subsequently released into the United States.

The number of unaccompanied children apprehended by Border Patrol in fiscal 2021 (146,925) exceeded last year’s total by four times. At one point in April, more than 20,000 unaccompanied minors were being held in Health and Human Services custody.

The White House confirmed on Oct. 20 that it has been flying unaccompanied children from the southern border to New York in the middle of the night.

“It is our legal responsibility to safely care for unaccompanied children until they can be swiftly unified with a parent or a vetted sponsor,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “And that’s something we take seriously. We have a moral obligation to come to do that and deliver on that.”

She confirmed that unaccompanied children are also being transported to other parts of the country.

By Charlotte Cuthbertson

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