This story was originally posted in the March 19th Newsletter.
Total encounters of illegal aliens at the Southwest border remained steady at 154,998 in February, marking the 24th consecutive month that encounters exceeded 150,000.
Of the nearly 155,000 encounters, Border Patrol agents made 128,877 apprehensions of illegal border crossers. The rest (26,211) were illegal aliens who tried to enter the U.S. at a port of entry along the Southwest border.
In January, Border Patrol agents made 128,913 apprehensions and total encounters were 156,770.
While the numbers have dropped significantly since their December high of 251,995 total encounters, they're still well above historical averages. In the six years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, border apprehensions in February averaged 41,685. In four of those six years, apprehensions were less than 40,000.
The Biden Administration has attempted a number of different approaches in dealing with the border crisis. But none of those approaches has actually discouraged illegal aliens from continuing to come to the United States.
The administration has created a pool of 30,000 parole visas per month for illegal aliens from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. It's also created a smartphone app that allows would-be illegal border crossers to schedule an appointment to enter the country and claim asylum.
But until the administration stops releasing illegal aliens into the interior of the country and starts disincentivizing migrants to make the journey in the first place, border apprehensions will remain above historical norms.
Reports surfaced this week that Pres. Biden is considering a revival of the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" program that required illegal border crossers who claim asylum to wait in Mexico until their asylum hearing. That policy played a major role in ending the 2017 border crisis. But Pres. Biden has already come under fire from many in his own party for even considering the program.
Updated: Thu, May 11th 2023 @ 3:23pm EDT