Jeh Johnson, formerly of the Department of Homeland Security, said that the ongoing influx of migrants along the US’s southern border is the biggest influx ever – and that people are entering the country whom the US cannot identify.
Johnson, a former Obama administration official, spoke to Fox News on Thursday, where he outlined the historic nature of our current migrant crisis.
“There are a lot of people entering our southern border right now,” Johnson said. “Thousands and thousands. It’s a hemispheric move north bigger than anything we’ve ever seen. And the challenge for [U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP], for our DHS, the FBI, is to try to keep up.” Johnson continued. “Unfortunately, as you know, the system is broken, it’s horribly backlogged, and there’s a whole lot of people entering this country who we cannot identify.”
Biden administration under scrutiny
Johnson’s comments come at a time where the Biden administration is under scrutiny for its handling of the southern border. Unfortunately for Biden, the scrutiny is coming from both sides of the aisle. Democrats, for example, recently condemned DHS plans to proceed with additional border wall construction. Which makes sense. Trump’s border wall proposal and construction were offered as primary examples of why Trump was, essentially, evil. So, Biden can reasonably have expected to face some criticism for proceeding with the Trump Border Wall blueprint. Still, the mainstream media, and Democrats in general, took it easy on Biden for his border wall proposal, suggesting that it wasn’t the border wall but Trump himself that everyone was so upset about.
Anyways, “according to CBP figures, as of August, more than 2.2 million migrants have had encounters with authorities along the U.S.-Mexico in the 2023 fiscal year, an increase from 2.1 million a year ago,” Newsweek reported.
The influx of migrants, paired with Hamas’s breach of the Gaza-Israel border (and subsequent attack) have led to security concerns related to unidentified migrants crossing the US’s southern border.
“There has also been a rise in recent years in the number of people apprehended on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist, with border patrol agents apprehending 151 migrants along the southern border in the fiscal year 2023 who match the FBI’s screening system, according to the CBP,” Newsweek reported. “In fiscal year 2022, 98 people on the watchlist were apprehended after entering from Mexico.”
Migration and the upcoming election
Expect migration to be a marquee item in the upcoming presidential election. Republicans are going to hammer Biden (and Harris) for the influx of migrants along the southern border, hoping to cement the idea that Biden has been soft on migration and compromised national security (and residential economic security) as a result.
Biden doesn’t deserve all of the blame – the problem has been building for decades. But Biden, as sitting president, will be working uphill to convince voters in real time that the staggering influx of migrants is not his fault. And that Biden has essentially embraced The Border Wall, the cornerstone of Trump’s migration-stemming plan, could undercut Biden’s ability to criticize Trump’s migration policy.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.