Court Filings Reveal ‘Biden’s Border Fiasco’ Has Gone Global

Illegal entrants at Southwest border from Egypt, Israel, Ireland, Spain, and Italy — to name a few

By Andrew R. Arthur on September 1, 2022

I recently described how CNN has newly awakened to the reality that illegal entries at the U.S.-Mexico line have gone global. It’s not clear what’s taken so long (my colleague Todd Bensman wrote a book about it nearly two years ago), but the fact is that what Bloomberg Opinion has termed “Biden’s Border Fiasco” is drawing folks from around the world. A recent court filing reveals how ridiculous it’s become, as Border Patrol in July apprehended illegal entrants at the Southwest border from Egypt, Israel, Ireland, Spain, and Italy — to name a few.

Transparency and Court-Ordered Disclosures. The Biden administration has a serious transparency problem, at least as it relates to immigration. As my colleague Mark Krikorian has suggested, it appears that even White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is being kept in the dark about what is transpiring at the Southwest border.

What light has been cast on the deleterious effects of Biden’s immigration policies has come from court-ordered disclosures.

For example, I know that the administration has released 1.129 million aliens CBP “encountered” at the Southwest border (through the end of June) only because DHS was forced to admit that fact in the course of litigation in Texas v. Biden, a case brought by Texas and Missouri to force the president to continue the successful Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), better known as “Remain in Mexico”.

Unfortunately, I only know the number of border releases through June because that’s when the Supreme Court ruled against those states in Texas. After the Court’s judgment became final in August, the district court judge who had forced the administration to reveal those statistics was required to vacate his disclosure order, and the Biden administration was able to skitter back into the darkness.

Title 42 and CDC v. Louisiana. Fortunately, Texas was not the only case in which a district court judge directed the administration to tell the taxpayers and citizens what it is doing on their dime and in their name. Which brings me to Title 42 and the case of CDC v. Louisiana.

In late March 2020, CDC issued its first order pursuant to Title 42 of the U.S. Code. It directed DHS to expel illegal entrants and aliens seeking admission without proper documents at land borders, in response to the then-burgeoning Covid-19 pandemic.

Those orders have subsequently been expanded, contracted, narrowed, and refined, but in the spring, the Biden administration announced that it would be terminating “Title 42” on May 23.

The problem is that President Biden quickly ditched the border policies the Trump administration had implemented to successfully bring a modicum of control to the Southwest border once he took office. That’s why Border Patrol agents apprehended nearly 3.191 million illegal entrants between February 2021 (Biden’s first full month in office) and the end of August.

It’s also why Border Patrol set a new yearly apprehension record at the U.S.-Mexico border in FY 2021, and why it has already broken that record in FY 2022, with two reporting months left to go.

Note that a month before Biden was sworn in as our nation’s 46th president, he promised that he would implement “guardrails” before reversing those Trump border policies, so as not to end up with “2 million people on our border”. No such guardrails (or even speed bumps or rumble strips) were ever erected, but perhaps like Jean-Pierre, the administration is also keeping the president in the dark.

Biden will be lucky if we don’t end up with 2.5 million or more apprehensions at the Southwest border this fiscal year, but if that doesn’t occur it will be largely thanks to Judge Robert R. Summerhays of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

You see, while Title 42 is a public-health order, it is the only policy currently deterring aliens from entering the United States illegally and remaining here forever, particularly given the (possibly temporary) demise of Remain in Mexico.

Of those nearly 3.191 million aliens Border Patrol agents apprehended at the Southwest border under Biden, just fewer than 1.697 million have been expelled pursuant to those CDC Title 42 orders. That leaves more than 1.495 million aliens who have been processed for removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) — most of whom, as noted, have been released into the United States.

DHS estimates that once the threat of expulsion under Title 42 ends, up to 18,000 aliens will pour over the Southwest border illegally per day — more than three times as many as Border Patrol apprehended there on a daily average in August, at a rate of 540,000 per month, or six million-plus per year.

Why is Judge Summerhays the one to thank? Because on May 20, he issued an 11th-hour order blocking the administration from terminating Title 42. That order was issued in CDC v. Louisiana, a suit brought by the states of Louisiana, Arizona, and Missouri to prevent CDC from ending those public-health orders.

Monthly Reports by Nationality. Prior to issuing his injunction against the administration, on April 27, Judge Summerhays issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in the case. Among other things, that TRO required DHS to file weekly reports on the number of single adult migrants who were processed under Title 42 and the INA by country. The preliminary injunction order the court issued on May 20 converted that to a monthly reporting requirement.

The latest monthly DHS report was filed on August 16 for the month of July, and it is chockful of some interesting facts. In July, Border Patrol reported processing single-adult migrants from 100 different countries, as well as one catchall “stateless” category.

Many of those apprehensions are unremarkable: Mexico (44,785 total/40,416 expelled under Title 42/4,369 processed under the INA); El Salvador (4,292 total/3,845 expelled under Title 42/447 processed under the INA); Honduras (8,734 total/7,867 expelled under Title 42/867 processed under the INA); Venezuela (12,171 total/45 expelled under Title 42/12,126 processed under the INA); Guatemala (10,802 total/10,241 expelled under Title 42/561 processed under the INA).

Others, however, boggle the mind. Eleven Egyptian nationals were apprehended, all processed under the INA. Two Israelis, both processed under the INA. A single Irish national, one Greek, two Serbs, and a lone Spanish national, each processed under the INA, as were all 120 single adult Romanians.

Border Patrol processed migrants from the Himalayas (122 Nepalese nationals, none expelled) to the Sahara (four Sudanese, 25 nationals of Mali, six Algerians, 32 Mauritanians, three Moroccans, 25 from Burkina Faso, and one Libyan, all processed under the INA) to the Caribbean (492 Dominican nationals, three expelled under Title 42; 165 Haitians, 18 expelled under Title 42; Cuba, 15,111, 94 expelled under Title 42; Jamaica, 223, none expelled under Title 42; and Guadeloupe — a département of France — five, all expelled under Title 42) to the Middle East (three from Jordan, 18 Iranians, two Iraqis — none expelled under Title 42).

Sub-Saharan Africa, too, from Nigeria (70), Niger (three), Sierra Leone (16), Guinea-Bissau (two), Ivory Coast (12), Cameroon (113), Gambia (eight), Ghana (267), Republic of the Congo (20), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (24), Togo (five), South Africa (one). The Horn of Africa was represented as well, with 165 Somalis, 99 Eritreans, and 38 Ethiopians. None expelled under Title 42, but one of the three Kenyans was.

Migrants came from all over Asia. The subcontinent (1,093 Indian nationals as well as 130 Bangladeshis, 32 Pakistanis, and 19 Sri Lankans, none expelled under Title 42). The People’s Republic of China accounted for 270, each processed under the INA, but curiously the one from Macau was expelled. And Southeast Asia, too (25 Vietnamese nationals, one Thai, and one Cambodian, all processed under the INA).

Not only were there 298 Russians processed by the Border Patrol at the Southwest border, but plenty of nationals of former Soviet Republics, too: Armenia (10); Azerbaijan (25); Belarus (17); Georgia (744); Kazakhstan (nine); Kyrgyzstan (25); Moldova (four); Tajikistan (eight); and one from the “USSR”. None were expelled under Title 42.

A Global Entry Crisis at the Southwest Border Driven by Bad Policy Decisions. I would say this wouldn’t have happened under any prior administration, but that’s not quite correct. As an immigration judge, I would occasionally see border cases from unusual countries like Sri Lanka and Mongolia. They were so rare, though, to be notable. Not anymore.

Why is this happening? Because, in a departure from every prior administration in history, deterring foreign nationals from entering the United States illegally is not an objective of the current one, as Biden’s DHS secretary has admitted.

Instead, “It is the objective of the Biden administration to make sure that we have safe, orderly, and legal pathways for individuals to be able to access our legal system”, that is to be able to apply for asylum, regardless of the strength of the migrant’s claim or even whether the migrant is seeking asylum, and regardless of how long the alien will be allowed to live and work here while transiting that “legal system”.

Why did aliens from all over the world — from the EU to the mountains of Asia and the deserts and plains of Africa — come to the Southwest border in the heat of the summer? Because they can. And the reason they can is because the Biden administration not only isn’t trying to stop them, it’s doing everything it can to overturn the judge’s order that is preventing it from ending Title 42, an order that bars it from providing everyone in the world a “safe, orderly, and legal” path to remain here indefinitely.