WASHINGTON—Heritage’s border security team released the following statements Friday in response to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) finally publicizing December apprehension numbers, which for the first time in the Border Patrol’s history exceeded 250,000. The numbers were released on the two-year anniversary of Biden’s inauguration, and the signing of the first executive orders responsible for sparking the crisis:
Mark Morgan, former acting CBP commissioner and Heritage visiting fellow: “What’s been happening at the border the last two years continues to be a catastrophic crisis, and the White House, Secretary Mayorkas, and the open-borders advocates on the left continue to lie about it. Under the last Democratic president, 25,000 encounters was a borderline crisis—for the Biden administration, 10 times that number is simply business as usual.
“Secretary Mayorkas has been in his post for two years. He has presided over all this chaos and destruction, willfully implementing every single one of his boss’ open-borders policies. Those policies have abjectly failed, yet he continues to absurdly claim the opposite, even to the point of lying under oath before Congress. No sane person could look at the border and claim we’re on the right course. Any other secretary would have long ago resigned in shame and disgrace, but it’s clear Secretary Mayorkas simply has no shame to begin with. So, Congress must immediately move to impeach him, begin meaningful oversight, and pass legislation to end the crisis and reduce illegal immigration.”
Tom Homan, former acting ICE director and Heritage visiting fellow: “Joe Biden is the first president in my lifetime to intentionally un-secure the border. By way of more than 90 executive orders, he undid the successful Trump-era policies that brought illegal immigration to a 40-year low and gave us the most secure border of our lifetimes. This president and his team were warned what would happen if they got rid of those policies. They did it anyway, and you’re looking at the consequences.
“More Americans than ever dying from fentanyl flooding across the southwest border. More women and children abused and sexually assaulted on the dangerous journey through Central America and Mexico. More migrants found dead on U.S. soil than ever. Record profits for the cartels as they traffic and smuggle historic numbers of drugs and people across the border. It’s inhumane. It’s a slap in the face to the men and women of the Border Patrol, who are absolutely overwhelmed, as well as to ICE agents who’ve been told they can’t detain or deport most of those who break our laws. Most of these 250,000 will be released into the interior and stay here indefinitely. Joe Biden and Secretary Mayorkas have embraced open borders for political benefit, and innocent people are the ones paying the consequences.”
Lora Ries, director of Heritage’s border security team and former acting DHS deputy chief of staff: “It’s easy to get lost in all the numbers, but don’t let this one pass by without being shocked and outraged. Biden’s border crisis is literally historic, and has been for years now, but this is simply a devastating number. For the second time, Biden’s CBP needs to make a bigger chart to visualize this historic number. More than 250,000 apprehensions—and that doesn’t even include the rising number of got-aways—mean that even more Border Patrol agents are being pulled off the line to process and release illegal aliens into the interior so that the Biden administration doesn’t get stuck with embarrassing photos of overcrowded facilities. And of course, NGOs are more than happy to help facilitate, as Heritage has exposed.
“This cannot continue for two more years, until the American people have a chance to reject the presidential policies that have caused this crisis. Congress needs to actually step up, do its job, and hold the Biden administration accountable. Whether that’s through impeachment, withholding funding, or a constant stream of oversight hearings, they have the tools. They just need to exercise the political will—for once.”