WASHINGTON – Lora Ries, Heritage senior research fellow for homeland security, and Mark Morgan, former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) acting director and Heritage Foundation visiting fellow, released a statement Friday following the release of illegal border crossing numbers for March. More than 171,000 illegal aliens were apprehended in March, a 400% increase compared to crossings in March 2020:
“We have a crisis on the border, even though the Biden administration still refuses to acknowledge it. Today’s numbers are just more evidence of this undeniable reality – and proof that President Biden’s policies are driving this crisis.
“The president has stood before the American people and falsely claimed that the massive surge of illegal aliens across our sovereign border is just a ‘seasonal’ phenomenon. The facts tell a different story. In February 2020, Border Patrol agents apprehended about 35,000 illegal aliens attempting to enter the U.S. In March 2020, it was around 33,000. In April 2020, illegal crossings numbered less than 20,000.
“Fast forward several months to November 2020, when more than 69,000 illegal aliens were apprehended by Border Patrol agents. Last month, this number was more than 100,000. Now we’ve seen 171,000 in a single month, far more than any point in the 2019 crisis. More importantly, during the peak of the 2019 crisis, then-President Trump put in place strong policies that stopped the surges, reduced incentives for illegal immigration, and nearly eliminated the flood of fraudulent asylum claims. This administration has done the opposite. Some in Congress are already talking of throwing more taxpayer money at this crisis to clean up the administration’s mess. That would be a mistake. The crisis will only end when the Biden administration reinstates strong and sound immigration policies – policies that were working prior to the new administration taking office and ending most of them.
“Recent polling shows Americans see this crisis for what it is – predictable, avoidable, and devastating. They are not buying the deceptive spin coming from the White House. Today’s numbers should be a wakeup call to this administration – Biden’s border crisis is unsustainable and is drowning our Border Patrol agents in a flood of lawlessness.”