Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Wednesday reported the lowest number of southwest land border encounters since January 2022.
Taken at face value, that may look like progress.
The full picture, however, shows that as southwest land border illegal-alien encounters trended downward in January and February after the rollout of the unlawful port parole program and the CBP One app, the number of nationwide inadmissible alien encounters at ports of entry is steadily rising, as shown in the chart below.
In fact, CBP’s February Office of Field Operations inadmissible alien encounters at ports of entry were 82,365, more than four times greater than in February 2021 and more than double the number in February 2022.
These ports of entry encounters are steadily rising because the administration has directed would-be illegal aliens of numerous nationalities to use the CBP One app to make an appointment at a port of entry, where they will be paroled into the country.
Thus, the same illegal aliens who would otherwise be attempting to cross between ports of entry are being shifted directly to them.
The administration calls this process a “lawful pathway,” but mass paroling tens of thousands of inadmissible aliens through the ports make neither the process, nor the aliens using it, lawful.
In fact, the executive branch does not have the constitutional authority to provide this visalike benefit to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens.
To prevent difficult questions stemming from the bad optics of sustained, historic levels of border encounters, the administration is hoping interested Americans will only look at the southwest land border encounters, rather than looking at nationwide encounters—and in particular, the Office of Field Operations numbers.
With the administration using ports to process and parole en masse, and now, larger numbers of illegal aliens crossing the northern border between the ports of entry, nationwide encounters—with Office of Field Operations numbers included—provide the most accurate picture of the number of known illegal aliens entering the U.S. during any given month.
The border crisis will continue so long as the policies of this administration are in place.
The goal is clear: Encourage asylum fraud and use and abuse parole to process and release more aliens into the country quickly, ensure they are never removed, providing mass de facto amnesty while demanding actual amnesty from Congress.
When what it’s doing is not politically expedient, the administration’s move is to continue its open-borders agenda more quietly and, it hopes, unnoticed.
Meanwhile, even officials such as the chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, Raul Ortiz, are admitting the failures of President Joe Biden’s border and immigration policy.
In a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Ortiz made a few consequential statements that ran counter to the Biden administration’s typical talking points and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ claims.
In addition to going against Mayorkas’ previous statements under oath claiming we have operational control of the border, Ortiz admitted that known got-aways are probably 10% to 20% higher than reported, that fentanyl is indeed coming into the U.S. between ports of entry, and that CBP’s duties now require a “processing enterprise,” as more aliens are encountered and released into the U.S.
This is not the only example of CBP personnel, especially Border Patrol agents, speaking out against the Biden administration’s reckless policies.
Last year, agents confronted Mayorkas directly about being pulled off the border to process illegal aliens, with one agent physically turning his back on the DHS chief and stating that Mayorkas turned his back on them first.
Ortiz himself has said that agency “morale is at an all-time low.”
The men and women on the ground know this administration is putting our nation at risk.
Despite CBP being strained and thrown under the bus repeatedly, Biden and Mayorkas continue full speed ahead with their CBP parole program, the latest installment of a dangerous border policy, and their lies to the American public.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal