‘This Is What Catch and Release Looks Like’: Heritage Experts Blast New Biden Border Crisis Numbers

‘This Is What Catch and Release Looks Like’: Heritage Experts Blast New Biden Border Crisis Numbers

Nov 16, 2021 3 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation’s homeland security team released the following statement Tuesday in response to new numbers showing that the Biden border crisis remains a devastating national security, humanitarian, and public health crisis. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded more than 164,000 apprehensions in October, the highest total for the October in at least 20 years, and the ninth straight month of more than 100,000 apprehensions:

Chad Wolf, former acting DHS secretary and Heritage visiting fellow: “This is what catch and release looks like. Since President Biden took office, apprehensions at the border have totaled more than 100,000 every single month. His border security strategy has failed. It’s time for the president, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and the rest of the leadership at the Department of Homeland Security to admit that failure and change course. However, their public statements and continued push for evermore radical policies show that they are going to do anything but. Just days ago, we learned the Biden administration is working on a plan to provide nearly half a million dollars to illegal aliens who have crossed our border and violated our laws with impunity—funded by the taxpayer dollars of working Americans, of course. It’s policies like these that continue to drive this crisis. This has to stop.”

Mark Morgan, former acting CBP commissioner and Heritage visiting fellow: “It’s important the American people understand what these new numbers say—and what they don’t. They show clearly that the Biden border crisis is in full swing, and remains historically catastrophic. More than164,000 apprehensions is a devastating number—20,000 higher than the worst single month of the 2019 crisis.

“They also raise major questions about CBP’s data, for several reasons. First, we know there were approximately 8,000 Haitians who illegally entered in Del Rio, Texas, but rather than face deportation, they went back to Mexico. Sources tell me that since Border Patrol did not technically ‘apprehend’ them, they won’t be included in the October numbers. Second, illegal aliens apprehended by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and then processed on state charges are also not included in CBP’s monthly totals. This number could be in the thousands. We also know Texas National Guard and DPS have apprehended tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied minors they then hand over to Border Patrol. CBP needs to clarify whether these are also included in the apprehension count, and ensure agency brass are not playing games about who technically apprehended these individuals. Third, any ‘improvement’ on the apprehensions number is negated by the rising number of ‘got-aways.’ As more and more Border Patrol agents are pulled off the line to process illegal aliens into the country, more illegal aliens are simply crossing unchallenged into the country. The Biden border crisis remains a historic crisis jeopardizing our national security, making a mockery of our laws, and forever changing our republic through mass illegal migration.”

Lora Ries, former acting DHS deputy chief of staff and Heritage senior research fellow: “President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas should be ashamed of the border crisis they have created. Sadly, they knew what they were doing when they undid nearly every single effective border security policy of the previous administration. Mass illegal immigration was the goal, and with these October numbers, we have yet another month of unchecked flows across our border. We know most of these illegal aliens are being released into the interior, where they put additional strain on our communities. It’s far past time Congress got serious about exercising its constitutional authority to investigate the Biden border crisis, to determine who’s driving it, and to stop it. That’s just the first step in getting out of this crisis and undoing the damage Biden and his administration have done.”

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