DHS’s Latest Weekend News Dump Is a Stunner

CBP has released at least 2 million Southwest border migrants in last 2 fiscal years; could exceed 3 million when all other releases are included

By Andrew R. Arthur on January 6, 2024

Its release policies aside, there are two endemic procedural issues I’ve had with the White House over the last couple of years: the administration’s lack of transparency about what it’s doing at the border; and its inclination to release bad border statistics in Friday “news dumps”. Well, the latest news dump is a stunner, revealing that CBP released more than 2 million illegal aliens in FY 2022 and FY 2023. And that doesn’t count unaccompanied children, border migrants released by ICE, or aliens ushered into the United States under the administration’s illegal parole schemes, which could boost that number to 3 million or more, in just two years.

“Immigration Enforcement and Legal Processes Monthly Tables”

Around close of business on Friday, January 5, the new DHS Office of Homeland Security Statistics (OHSS) issued a report captioned “Immigration Enforcement and Legal Processes Monthly Tables”. That report explains: “OHSS produced this report independently in support of its mission to maximize DHS data quality and transparency.” I wouldn’t read too much into the “independently” part, but it’s definitely a departure from the administration’s prior modus operandi.

The substantive portion of that report consists of links to Excel spreadsheets, the most significant of which is captioned “CBP SW Border Encounters Book-Out by Agency: Fiscal Years 2014 to 2023 (September 2023)”. It’s Tab 11 in the Table of Contents.

“SW” is DHS-speak for the Southwest border of the United States, and the most notable headers in that spreadsheet are “USBP Releases” and “OFO Paroles”. “USBP” refers to the Border Patrol, and “OFO” is a reference to the Office of Field Operations, the CBP component with jurisdiction over the ports of entry.

FY 2021. According to that spreadsheet, Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border released 293,469 illegal entrants in FY 2021, while CBP officers at OFO paroled an additional 25,007 inadmissible aliens they encountered at the ports that fiscal year.

That spreadsheet is by fiscal year, not month, so there’s no way to know how many of those aliens were encountered by CBP under the Trump administration (between October 1, 2020, and January 20, 2021) and under the Biden administration (between January 20 and September 30, 2021).

Given, however, that just 41,460 aliens encountered by CBP at the Southwest border between October 2020 and January 2021 weren’t expelled under Title 42, it’s safe to assume that nearly all of those 318,476 FY 2021 Southwest border releases and paroles occurred under the Biden administration.

FY 2022 and FY 2023. Biden has presided over the executive branch for all of the past two fiscal years, however, so all of the CBP releases and paroles at the Southwest border in FY 2022 and FY 2023 occurred on his watch.

According to that spreadsheet, Border Patrol agents released 685,304 illegal entrants they apprehended at the Southwest border in FY 2022, while CBP officers in OFO paroled an additional 92,632 inadmissible aliens encountered at the Southwest border ports that fiscal year — nearly 778,000 aliens in total.

That trend accelerated in FY 2023, likely due to the Biden administration’s lifting of Title 42 on May 11. Last fiscal year, Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border released 909,450 illegal entrants and CBP officers at the ports there paroled an additional 370,191 inadmissible aliens they encountered.

Add those figures together and you get to more than 1.279 million illegal migrant releases by CBP at the Southwest border in FY 2023. Add that to the FY 2022 total, and in just the past two fiscal years the Biden administration has released at least 2,057,577 aliens who entered or attempted to enter the United States at the Southwest border without any right to be admitted.

Add in More than 245,550 Migrant Kids

Under a poorly thought-out 2008 law, unaccompanied alien children (UACs) –minors encountered by CBP without a responsible adult around – mus33t be transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours of encounter.

ORR, in turn, releases nearly all those UACs to “sponsors” in the United States, many if not most of whom are also here illegally.

That spreadsheet reveals that CBP encountered 127,450 UACs at the Southwest border it transferred to HHS in FY 2022, and an additional 118,100 UACs in FY 2023.

I’ll leave it to you to decide whether to add those 245,550 UACs to the Biden total. Their presence here is at least in part Congress’ fault, but they are still here and most likely still will be when their grandkids graduate from high school.

Add in ICE Releases of Southwest Border Migrants

In FY 2022, Border Patrol agents and OFO officers at the Southwest border transferred 267,526 aliens they encountered at the Southwest border to ICE, followed by an additional 311,343 in FY 2023. So, what happened to those nearly 579,000 illegal migrants?

Good question, because while the OHSS report contains statistics for ICE, those statistics are limited to ICE detentions, “repatriations”, and administrative arrests. There are no numbers on releases, and more specifically no statistics on the number of aliens transferred by CBP to ICE who were later released.

On January 4, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appeared on Fox News’ “Special Report” with host Bret Baier, and made a stunning admission — of sorts.

Baier asked Mayorkas: “Customs and Border Protection sources say that currently, they are releasing more than 70% of the migrants crossing every day and sometimes more than that number. Would that surprise you?”

The secretary was cagey but asserted: “It would not. It would not surprise me at all. . . I know the data. And I will tell you that when individuals are released they are released into immigration enforcement proceedings”.

As I recently explained, however, there’s a big difference between being “released into immigration enforcement proceedings”, and actually being deported. Those proceedings could take a decade or more to complete, and the enforcement system is on the verge of collapse with a reported 3 million cases pending on immigration court dockets.

If 70 percent of those aliens transferred by CBP to ICE were released into the country, that adds an additional 405,000 new cases to add to that backlog of aliens with no right to be here now living in the United States. ICE actual releases are likely much higher, however, so this is a low-end estimate.

Add in the “CHNV Process”

The last statistic that I’ll discuss from that OHSS report is a spreadsheet captioned “CHNV Process”.

“CHNV” stands for a (facially illegal) program first implemented by the Biden administration in October 2022, to bring up to 30,000 nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to the United States monthly on two-year periods of “parole”.

The idea was that those aliens wouldn’t have to break the law themselves by entering illegally if the administration broke the law for them by allowing in nationals of those four countries.

The OHSS disclosure reveals that 234,013 nationals of those four countries entered the United States under CHNV parole in FY 2023. None of those individuals have any legal right to be admitted to this country, and the Biden administration has no plan to force them to leave when their two-year periods of parole end.

Moreover, it should be noted, those 234,000-plus paroles were over and above the limits that Congress has placed on the lawful immigration of nationals of those four countries to the United States. But then, that is true of the millions of other aliens the administration has released and paroled into the United States in the past two fiscal years.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that, depending on how you calculate it, anywhere between 2.057 million and nearly 3 million illegal aliens have been released into the United States in the past two fiscal years and will be living here indefinitely, thanks to the Biden administration’s border policies. You don’t have to trust me, however — just take a look at the stats released by DHS in its latest weekend news dump.