WASHINGTON—Mark Morgan, Heritage visiting fellow and former acting Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) commissioner, and Tom Homan, Heritage visiting fellow and former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director, released statements Friday night in response to new border numbers finally made public by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The numbers for the month of September showed a staggering 227,547 encounters, another historic record.
This brought total CBP encounters this fiscal year to more than 2.7 million, shattering the all-time record, which was also set by the Biden administration just last year. In addition, CBP recorded more than 600,000 known got-aways since last October, bringing the total number of known got-aways under Biden and DHS Secretary Mayorkas to more than 1 million. CBP also recorded 98 apprehensions of aliens on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database, dwarfing total such encounters from the previous 5 years combined.
DHS dumped the numbers Friday evening after Morgan, Homan, and former acting DHS deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli threatened to release them if DHS officials did not do so by Tuesday.
Morgan: “Last year was a catastrophically terrible year for border security, and consequently, for the American people. The last 12 months have been orders of magnitude worse. The primary responsibility of the federal government is to protect Americans and our interests. The Biden administration—from Joe Biden, to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, to CBP Chief Chris Magnus—have knowingly, willfully, and consistently violated that responsibility. It has long been clear that our borders are open—now these numbers should erase any remaining doubt. We have simply never seen these numbers before in our history, and the Biden open-borders policies are the reason.
“These policies have deadly consequences for everyone involved, American citizens and the migrants themselves. Illegal immigration makes our border less secure, and as more Border Patrol agents are pulled off the lines to process record numbers of illegal aliens, the cartels are taking advantage. Ninety-five percent of the fentanyl flowing into our country comes across our southwest border, and the drug is now the leading cause of death for Americans 18-45. Illegal aliens continue to be arrested for committing crimes in our communities. And gang members, violent criminals, sexual predators, and known or suspected terrorists are slipping across our border, with Border Patrol never even having a chance to catch them. Those people are now in your community.
“As bad as it has gotten, things will only get worse, and I fear what major catastrophe could come next. But make no mistake—responsibility for what has happened, and what will happen, lies squarely with this administration.”
Homan: “The time for excuses is over—the next Congress needs to take actual steps to hold this administration accountable for the chaos and carnage they have unleashed on our southwest border. That means starting with impeaching Secretary Mayorkas, who has helped implement this disastrous open-borders agenda and lied to the American people about it.
“Under the Trump administration, we implemented policies that secured the border and reduced illegal immigration. We brought illegal immigration to a 40-year low, keeping more of our communities and families safe from the scourge of deadly narcotics like fentanyl. Our policies starved the cartels of profits by discouraging people from putting themselves in the hands of the cartels to come to our borders illegally. And we saved untold numbers of women and children from being assaulted and murdered on the dangerous journey through Central America. All that has been undone thanks to the Biden administration’s cruel and inhumane open-borders policies.
“This is a shameful episode in our history, and the ones who are suffering are not the elites in their gated and secured Beltway communities. It’s the Border Patrol agents being overwhelmed on a daily basis. It’s the families who have been ripped apart losing a loved one to fentanyl or other drugs. And it’s the migrants themselves, who are worthless to the cartels once they’ve been paid. The next Congress better do something about it.”