The latest Biden administration disclosures in Biden v. Texas reveal that in May, DHS released 95,318 migrants CBP had encountered at the Southwest border into the United States, bringing the total of illegal migrant releases there under the Biden administration to 1,049,532 — a population larger than the number of residents in the president’s home state of Delaware, at a rate of 2,115 per day.
Background. Briefly, Texas is a suit brought by the states of Texas and Missouri in April 2021 to challenge the Biden administration’s suspension of the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP, better known as “Remain in Mexico”). The matter was assigned to Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
On June 1, while that case was pending, Mayorkas issued a memo terminating MPP. That termination decision was rolled into the pending case brought by the states.
On August 13, Judge Kacsmaryk issued an order enjoining Mayorkas’s termination of MPP. To ensure compliance with that order, the court required DHS to report monthly on the number of CBP encounters at the Southwest border, the number of aliens expelled pursuant to public-health orders issued by CDC under Title 42 of the U.S. Code in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the number released into the United States.
The latest disclosure was filed on June 15, reflecting DHS activity through the end of May. By my count, it is the eleventh such disclosure, including a supplemental one filed on September 23.
The June 15 Status Report. That June 15 disclosure, captioned “Defendants’ Monthly Report for May 2022”, reveals that DHS encountered 239,416 aliens at the Southwest border last month — a combination of illegal entrants who were apprehended by Border Patrol and aliens deemed inadmissible by CBP officers in the Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the land border ports of entry.
Of that number, according to DHS, just short of 100,700 were expelled under Title 42, and an additional 13,755 were removed or returned under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), not counting 2,696 aliens who were removed via expedited removal pursuant to section 235(b)(1) of the INA or voluntary return (117,150 total).
That reveals that, even though it’s a public-health order, Title 42 is critical to managing the chaos at the Southwest border — underscoring the importance of U.S. district court Judge Robert R. Summerhays’ May 20 order preventing CDC from terminating Title 42.
The disclosure also states that while Border Patrol detained more aliens than its detention capacity would normally allow (5,600 aliens, exceeded by 230 percent during the average day in May), ICE is still underutilizing its detention capacity by 19.27 percent on the average day — at a huge cost to American taxpayers.
Next, the government breaks down the total number of “applicants for admission” DHS encountered. As calculated, this is the sum of illegal entrants Border Patrol apprehended and applicants for admission CBP officers at OFO deemed inadmissible at the Southwest border minus aliens expelled under Title 42 (all of whom, confusingly, are counted as “encounters” in CBP’s monthly statistics). I refer to them collectively as “migrants” because they are seeking to migrate to the United States.
In May, DHS recorded 138,717 such migrants/applicants for admission at the Southwest border. Of that number, CBP released 68,527 of them into the United States on an extremely limited authority known as “parole”, despite the fact that section 235 of the INA mandates that each of those migrants be detained.
I have previously explained — in depth — that this is an misuse of the parole authority, and that the Biden administration’s policy of releasing these migrants (who are supposed to be detained) on parole is driving the current Southwest border crisis.
In any event, those 68,527 aliens who were released on parole weren’t the only migrants whom DHS released. An additional 9,946 were set free by ICE — 922 on bond, 4,598 on orders of recognizance, 162 on orders of supervision, and 4,264 on parole.
It sounds like ICE released those migrants under section 236(a) of the INA, but as I have explained before (and as the Fifth Circuit has agreed on slightly different grounds), unless agents in a stunning exercise of clairvoyance were waiting at the border with warrants of arrest naming those aliens, it lacks the authority under that provision to make such releases.
Biden Has Released 1,049,532 Southwest Border Migrants. All told, then, DHS released 95,318 migrants from the Southwest border in May, bringing the total number of Southwest border migrants released under the Biden administration (again from the 11 disclosures in Texas) to 1,049,532.
By way of comparison, that is more people released into the United States than the total number of migrants Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border apprehended in any given fiscal year between FY 2007 and FY 2020. In fact, it’s more than the sum of illegal migrants apprehended at the Southwest border between FY 2009 and FY 2010 (1,002,351).
Or that’s larger than the population of Austin, Texas, the 11th largest city in the United States, more than twice the size of Atlanta, Ga., or three-plus Cincinnati, Ohios. Or 59,198 more people than there are residents of the president’s home state of Delaware.
Delaware has two senators (Thomas Carper (D) and Chris Coons (D)), and one congresswoman (Lisa Blunt Rochester (D)). Perhaps all of those released migrants should demand their own representatives, but with all the support they are receiving from the White House, they hardly need it.
Alternatively, consider this. There were 496 days between January 21, 2021 (the day after the inauguration) and May 31, 2022 (the last reporting day in Texas). DHS released — on average — 2,115 illegal migrants per day throughout that period.
In a March 2019 interview, Jeh Johnson — who was DHS secretary under the Obama-Biden administration — explained that when he served in that role, he received daily updates on border apprehensions, and viewed fewer than 1,000 apprehensions a day as “a relatively good number, and if it was above 1,000 it was a relatively bad number, and I was gonna be in a bad mood the whole day”.
What would Jeh Johnson do if his department was releasing more than twice that “bad day” number every day? The answer is “something different”, by which I mean a massively revamped border policy or a different job.
Speaking of President Barack Obama, in September he opined:
Immigration is tough. It always has been because, on the one hand, I think we are naturally a people that wants to help others. And we see tragedy and hardship and families that are desperately trying to get here so that their kids are safe, and they're in some cases fleeing violence or catastrophe. ... At the same time, we're a nation state. We have borders. The idea that we can just have open borders is something that ... as a practical matter, is unsustainable.
Those sentiments are no longer the position of the party that the 44th president led for eight years. Or perhaps they are, but his fellow partisans no longer care about being a nation state or about the sustainability of an open-borders policy.
This is madness — financially and legally.
On the financial side, almost of all those migrants are poor (not counting the ones who show up sporting Versace), with low levels of education and few job skills. They will be a fiscal drain — on states and municipalities, on school systems and hospitals, on local utilities and services — for years, if not decades. You will pay for that, while businesses benefit from the cheap labor.
On the legal side, for how long can the immigration laws of the United States be degraded, disregarded, discarded, and diminished before they aren’t laws at all?
And yet it gets worse.
Got-Aways and Unaccompanied Alien Children. That’s because these official figures exclude two other groups of migrants who proceeded from the Southwest border into the interior of the United States —“got-aways” and unaccompanied alien children (UACs).
Fox News reports that there have been 440,000 such got-aways — aliens who entered illegally and successfully evaded apprehension — thus far in FY 2022, on top of an additional 400,000 in FY 2021.
Although most of those got-aways in FY 2021 likely entered after the Southwest border descended into chaos following the inauguration, I will give the current president the benefit of the doubt and only hold him responsible for two-thirds of the got-aways last fiscal year, or 266,667 aliens. That brings Biden’s got-away total to 706,667.
Turning to the UACs, starting on February 1, 2021, and through the end of May, CBP encountered 227,075 of them at the Southwest border.
Under a seriously flawed (and poorly thought out) 2008 law, DHS must release every UAC from a “non-contiguous country” (that is every nation other than Canada and Mexico) to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at HHS, nearly all for placement with a “sponsor” (usually the UAC’s own parent or a close relative, most here illegally) in the United States.
Of those 227,075 UACs encountered by CBP at the Southwest border under the Biden administration, 190,053 are nationals of non-contiguous countries.
If all those 190,053 UACs were placed into one school district, it would be the nation’s tenth largest, ahead of the current number 10, the Hawaii Department of Education (which runs the schools in former President Obama’s former home state), in enrollment by more than 10,000 students.
Grand Total and Their Environmental Impact. Adding the 706,667 got-aways to the 190,053 UACs and to the 1,049,532 migrants that DHS has released, a grand total of 1,946,252 aliens have crossed over the Southwest border and into the United States under Joe Biden. None of them had visas or other permission to do so — they just came right in, often with DHS or ORR metaphorically holding the door.
That’s a larger population than the 38th largest U.S. state, Nebraska, meaning that it’s more people than live in 13 states and the District of Columbia, and more people than live in America’s fifth largest city, Phoenix, Ariz.
The Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan reports that the United States — which has less than 5 percent of the world’s population — consumes 16 percent of the world’s energy, and that in 2019, each person in this country emitted 20 metric tons of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Those new migrants, consequently, will account for 38,925,040 metric tons of CO2 annually.
By comparison, the average person in Mexico emitted 3.58 tons of carbon dioxide (in 2016); in Guatemala, 1.12 tons (also in 2016); in El Salvador, 1.08 tons (2016); and in Honduras, 1.01 tons (2016).
That makes sense — the United States is a large country, many people cannot walk to work, stores, or school, and there is a lot of industry here (the United States also accounts for 15 percent of the world’s GDP). When any foreign national moves to this country, his or her carbon footprint is going to get a whole lot larger, by a factor of anywhere between six and 10.
If you are concerned about the effects of climate change on the environment, the arrival of nearly two million new people in the United States in just 16 months should be a concern — particularly given that those new arrivals are on top of all the immigrants and nonimmigrants who came here legally.
Nothing’s Going to Change Anytime Soon. Not to be a downer, but none of this is going to change anytime soon. You should be prepared for longer commutes, larger class sizes, more extended waits in your local emergency room, higher state and local taxes, even more inflated housing costs, and an ever-increasing amount of CO2. President Biden’s not going to change his border policies, unless and until the courts or the electorate force him to.