The Graph Joe Biden Doesn’t Want You to See

‘You’re lost, Jack. Let’s get you back on the rails. And buy my t-shirt while you’re at it."

By Andrew R. Arthur on May 19, 2023

On May 17, CBP released its “Nationwide Encounter” statistics for last month. It’s a dashboard rundown of all the “inadmissible” (read: “illegal”) aliens CBP stopped in April, both at the borders and the ports. It’s accompanied by a congratulatory agency “Monthly Update”, which elides many key facts. If you toggle your way through the dashboard, however, you’ll find a graph Joe Biden doesn’t want you to see, which raises the question: Who are the 49,644 encountered aliens who are otherwise unaccounted for? And therein hangs a tale of the administration’s plan to funnel tens of thousands of illegal migrants into the United States monthly, away from prying eyes.

Monthly Update. The Monthly Update begins by quoting CBP Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller, who states:

As part of our planning for the end of the Title 42 public health order, we have surged resources, technology, and personnel to safely and orderly manage challenges along the southern border – while at the same time, maintaining a persistent focus on our other missions to ensure national and economic security.

As an aside, I’ll note that the fact that CBP still has an “acting commissioner” more than 27 months into the current administration breaks a promise then-candidate Joe Biden made on the campaign trail to ensure that “responsible, Senate-confirmed professionals” would be running ICE and CBP 100 days after he took office. I’ll return to that promise below.

Returning to the main point, however, Miller never mentions in that seemingly reassuring statement any “policies”. That’s a significant oversight given the many and varied policies the administration promised to implement to address the inevitable surge of migrants who would enter in the wake of the end of Title 42 on May 11.

“Nationwide Encounters”. “Encounters” in the immigration context is the total of illegal migrants who have been apprehended by Border Patrol agents plus the number of aliens deemed inadmissible at the ports of entry by CBP officers from the agency’s Office of Field Operations (OFO).

How, exactly, does CBP OFO go from 16,867 aliens who were deemed inadmissible at the interior ports of entry in April 2022 to 49,664 — nearly triple — in just one year?

The Nationwide Encounter dashboard allows you to toggle around to see exactly how many illegal migrants Border Patrol agents have apprehended nationwide, as well as at the Southwest and Northern borders, respectively.

While it does not include a drop-down box for overall “Coastal Border” statistics (for aliens encountered in Border Patrol sectors such as New Orleans sector, Miami sector, and Ramey sector in Puerto Rico), the “area of responsibility” toggle does allow you to see Border Patrol apprehensions last month in Miami sector (105), New Orleans sector (57), and Ramey sector (89).

Those Coastal sector apprehensions are some combination of seaborne migrants, “ship jumpers”, and aliens simply found by agents along the coast.

Just to close the loop, agents at the Southwest border apprehended more than 182,000 illegal entrants in April, and at the Northern border apprehended an additional 977, for a total of 183,324 Border Patrol apprehensions last month. Those numbers all add up.

Office of Field Operations Inadmissible. In April, OFO’s CBP officers at the ports of entry deemed 92,106 alien “applicants for admission” inadmissible. Those are aliens who presented themselves for admission to the United States at a port of entry and who were denied admission, most because they failed to present proper admission documents, like valid U.S. visas.

Of those 92,106 aliens, 29,287 were deemed inadmissible at the Southwest land border ports of entry, and 13,155 were denied admission at the Northern land border ports. That leaves a whopping 49,664 aliens who applied for but were denied admission at “other ports” in the interior. Who are they and where did they enter?

Keep in mind that you cannot simply board a plane in some foreign country and show up at a U.S. airport of entry (like JFK, LAX, or Dulles), hop off, and ask for admission. Airlines can be on the hook for the costs associated with inadmissible aliens they transport, and so they are choosy about who they allow to board a flight to the United States.

The same is true of cruise ships, cargo vessels, and freighters.

Compare April’s missing inadmissible numbers to the same month one year prior. In April 2022, CBP reported that 58,098 aliens were deemed inadmissible at the ports of entry — 32,281 at the Southwestern border ports of entry and 8,950 at the Northern land border ports. That left “just” 16,867 aliens unaccounted for.

How, exactly, does CBP OFO go from 16,867 aliens who were deemed inadmissible at the interior ports of entry in April 2022 to 49,664 — nearly triple — in just one year?

The Chart. Which brings me to the chart I referred to at the beginning, which contains the CBP Nationwide Encounters dashboard toggled to show the overall number of aliens CBP OFO has denied admission to nationwide since October 2019:

The black line at the top shows the total number of aliens who have been deemed inadmissible by CBP officers in OFO at all ports nationwide in the first seven months of FY 2023, revealing a massive increase in inadmissible aliens who have been stopped at the ports of entry under Biden since October.

Biden’s Funnel and the Massive Increase in OFO Encounters. While hard statistics for prior years are difficult to access, I can assure you that the last year has seen the largest surge of inadmissible migrants at ports of entry in history. Historically, aliens without documents who wanted to enter the United States have “jumped the line”, that is entered illegally — they haven’t shown up at the ports for inspection because they weren’t likely to get in.

Until now. Thanks to the Biden administration’s post-Title 42 planning, the odds of them getting in have increased exponentially, so they are coming. Let me explain.

On January 5, the White House issued a “fact sheet” titled “Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Border Enforcement Actions”. In reality, there were few if any “enforcement actions” in that document.

What those “New Border Enforcement Actions” did include were two proposals to funnel would-be illegal migrants into the United States away from the prying and querulous eyes of those who focus solely on the number of migrants apprehended by Border Patrol agents each month.

Those apprehension numbers have long been a sore point for the Biden administration, because they reveal just how harmful the president’s “catch-and-release” border policies have been.

CBP One App Interviews. First, that fact sheet explained, would-be illegal migrants would now be able to access “the CBP One mobile application for scheduling an appointment to present themselves for inspection”. Aliens who failed to schedule appointments, the administration claimed, would be subject to expedited removal.

The CBP Monthly Update never mentions anyone being subject to expedited removal, but it does state that “CBP processed over 22,000 individuals at ports of entry” under that program in April.

Given that recent reports indicate that more than 99 percent of aliens who schedule interviews at the land ports using the CBP One app are let in, you can assume that most if not all of those “over 22,000” inadmissible aliens are getting resettled into their new U.S. homes right now.

Of course, all of those aliens are inadmissible, and thus show up in the CBP OFO “encounters” numbers for April.

Venezuela/Nicaragua/Haiti/Cuba Parole Plan. Second, the administration announced that it would expand the president’s October Venezuelan “parole” plan — which allows nationals of that country to enter the United States for two-year periods with work authorization — to include not only Venezuelans, but also nationals of Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba, as well — up to 30,000 per month, or 360,000 annually.

Those aliens don’t have to enter at the Southwest border — and in fact can be in their home countries when they apply for those visas. Most beneficiaries of that administrative largesse, therefore, would enter through interior U.S. airports of entry.

That plan is facially illegal, however, and 20 states quickly sued to block its implementation, in a case captioned Texas v. DHS.

Despite the pendency of that suit (or perhaps because of it), however, the CBP Monthly Update reports that: “During April 2023, 28,738 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans (including immediate family members where applicable) were paroled into the country” by CBP OFO.

Each of them would also count as a CBP “encounter” at the ports of entry because — and this is important — none of them is admissible, regardless of whether they have been issued parole documents. Rather, they require parole precisely because they lack the proper documents to be admitted.

When you run 28,738 inadmissible foreign nationals into the U.S. interior ports of entry each month, you can get to the nearly 50,000 CBP OFO encounters that occurred neither at the Southwest land border ports nor the Northern land border ports pretty quickly. Which is exactly what the Biden administration has done.

“You’re Lost, Jack. Let’s Get You Back on the Rails.” The Biden 2020 campaign promise to appoint Senate-confirmed professionals to run ICE and CBP was included in the immigration platform on the Biden-Harris 2020 campaign’s website, which I accessed as recently as the end of April.

It used to say things like:

It is a moral failing and a national shame when ... children are locked away in overcrowded detention centers and the government seeks to keep them there indefinitely. When our government argues in court against giving those children toothbrushes and soap.

Click on that link today, however, and you get a “404” error with the following message:

Keep in mind this is the leader of the free world, the man responsible for our national security, and the guy who has access to the nuclear codes. And now he’s hawking t-shirts.

The president’s feckless border policies have created the nation’s largest national security vulnerability in the past 20 years.

Don’t believe me. Here’s what the 9/11 Commission explained in its 2004 final report: “In the decades before September 11, 2001, border security — encompassing travel, entry, and immigration — was not seen as a national-security matter.” Does allowing tens of thousands of unvetted foreign nationals into the United States monthly sound like the president sees “border security as a national security matter”?

To ask the question is to answer it.

Respectfully, somebody’s lost when it comes to the administration’s immigration policies, but it’s not me. I understand them just fine and comprehend their dangers. And if anyone is “off the rails”, it’s the unknown and shadowy ideologues drafting those policies, who have forgotten the past and don’t want you to fully comprehend the implications of their current actions.

DHS needs to stop playing what the Florida attorney general has called a “game of whack-a-mole” with migrant releases at the Southwest border, or at least the president can be upfront about it to let voters decide whether resettling tens of thousands of unvetted migrants monthly is a good idea. In the interim, look at the chart Joe Biden doesn’t want you to see and make up your own mind.

And I don’t care whether you buy a t-shirt or not.