This summer, when illegal southern border-crossing numbers briefly dipped, legacy media outlets rushed to proclaim that the issue of mass, uncontrolled immigration was going away.
Don’t believe what you hear, President Joe Biden is solving the problem, they proclaimed.
Well, that didn’t last long.
The latest monthly and yearly numbers just came out, and it turns out the worst border crisis in American history is getting even worse.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, border agents reported 269,735 apprehensions in September alone, a new record.
In some sense, this was a fitting end to a record-breaking year. My colleague Virginia Allen broke down the fiscal year 2023 numbers released on Saturday.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CPB, reported Saturday that agents encountered 3,201,144 illegal immigrants at or between ports of entry to the country between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023. That is the equivalent of 8,770 a day,” Allen wrote.
That number is larger than the combined population of Hawaii, Alaska, and Vermont, and sets a new record, topping last year’s record of 2.7 million illegal border-crossing encounters.
In fiscal year 2021, there were 1.72 million illegal border encounters, which was the border-crossing record at the time. So, every year of the Biden presidency since we’ve set a new high.
I’m tired of using the word “record” over and over, but that’s where we are, thanks to Biden.
It’s also important to note that those detained at the border are now more likely to stay in the country, thanks in part to the end of the Title 42 policy. This Trump-era policy allowed swift deportation of illegal immigrants during the pandemic to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
The Biden administration is giving every sign that everyone who illegally comes across the border has a chance to stay here.
That’s a big reason why the border apprehension numbers keep growing.
Just get into the country, and the Biden administration will take care of the rest.
I’d like to note one more record: The U.S. hit a record low of 303,916 border-crossing apprehensions in 2017 under then-President Donald Trump. That number is barely higher than just last month alone under Biden.
So, it wasn’t long ago that we really did have something resembling a secure border and not just empty reassurances.
The latter are pretty much all we’ve had since Biden became president.
In May, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declared the border crisis 90% solved, thanks to the president. Vice President Kamala Harris said that the border situation wasn’t the administration’s fault and that they would address the “root causes” of illegal immigration in other countries to fix it.
How’s that working out? The totally independent and objective legacy media rolled with an “All is well; Biden’s in charge” narrative, of course
The Washington Post went so far as to call the border “eerily quiet” in July.
“There were dire predictions about what would happen when pandemic-era Title 42 restrictions were lifted in May,” wrote David Smith in The Guardian on July 30. “Yet last month, under a new rule that makes it harder to attain full asylum, illegal border crossings fell to the lowest level in more than two years, and the issue quickly faded from the news agenda.”
Of course, the border numbers almost immediately exploded as soon as The Guardian hit “publish” on that one.
Axios declared in June that Republicans had a “crumbling case against Biden on crime, immigration, and inflation.”
“Republicans are hammering ‘Joe Biden’s America’ as a land of rising violent crime, surging immigration and out-of-control inflation, but there’s just one problem: the numbers are starting to move in the opposite direction,” Axios announced triumphantly.
The effects of inflation appear to be here to stay. Violent crime decreased slightly in 2023, but it’s still far above where it was in 2020. Now, other crimes are up in many cities, and the nation’s capital has become the nation’s carjacking capital.
These same outlets are going curiously quiet now, especially as Americans start to worry more about the huge number of terrorist suspects who have slipped into the country.
Tristan Justice, writing at The Federalist, pointed out how on top of the record number of illegal border crossings, there was also a record number of terrorists trying to illegally cross the border in September and this year:
“According to CBP, 169 non-U.S. citizens whose information is logged in the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database were apprehended along the southern border. A whopping 564 potential terrorists were recorded at ports of entry in fiscal year 2023, a record number over the last six years.”
It’s not like we haven’t been given ample warning.
This is what the Biden administration calls a “secure” border. And that’s what legacy media outlets have tried to make excuses for.
Thanks to the Biden administration, the country is now flooded with illegal immigrants, many of whom appear to be here to do harm to Americans. That’s perhaps the biggest and most shameful failure of an increasingly failed presidency.
Jarrett Stepman is a columnist for The Daily Signal. He is also the author of the book “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.” This first appeared in the Daily Signal.
From the Vault