Latest CBP Stats Show New Record for Southwest Border Port Encounters

‘CHNV’ and ‘CBP One’ paroles hit one million — but you’ll likely only hear part of the story elsewhere

By Andrew R. Arthur on June 24, 2024

CBP released its Southwest border statistics for May on June 20, and while Border Patrol apprehensions dropped slightly compared to April, inadmissible alien encounters at the border ports approached 53,000 — a new record and a 565 percent increase compared with May 2021. You’ll likely hear about the first part, but not the second. The two stats are connected, because for over a year now the Biden administration has been using various contrivances to hide the number of inadmissible aliens it has been allowing into the country. The bigger news is that more than a million aliens have now received parole under two of those programs, “CHNV Parole” and the “CBP One app interview scheme”.

As a definitional reminder, since March 2020, CBP has been using the term “encounter” to refer to both aliens apprehended by Border Patrol agents between the ports of entry and aliens deemed inadmissible at those ports by CBP officers. This report covers both.

Border Patrol Apprehensions. In May, Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border apprehended nearly 118,000 illegal entrants, an 8.5 percent decline compared to April (nearly 129,000 apprehensions), but most importantly for the Biden administration, the lowest apprehension total since the president’s first full month in office (February 2021, when apprehensions totaled fewer than 98,000 migrants).

That’s more or less where the good news ends. That’s because in February 2021, CDC orders issued under Title 42 of the U.S. Code in response to the Covid pandemic directed CBP to expel all illegal entrants, but those orders expired at midnight on May 11, 2023.

Looking only at the number of apprehended migrants who weren’t expelled under Title 42, May’s Border Patrol total exceeds every month in FY 2021 and FY 2022, as well as four months (January through April) in FY 2023. If things are getting better for Border Patrol, it’s only marginally so.

Port of Entry Encounters. As noted at the outset, the number of aliens deemed inadmissible at the Southwest border ports of entry by CBP officers in the agency’s Office of Field Operations (OFO) set a new all-time record in May, as officers stopped 52,817 aliens with no proper admission documents and no right to enter the United States.

That’s a roughly 4 percent increase over April, a 53-percent rise over May 2023, and more than twice as many OFO Southwest border port encounters as in May 2022, not to mention the 565-percent jump over May 2021.

CHNV and CBP One. The reason for that increase is clear: The Biden administration is deliberately funneling would-be illegal migrants away from the border itself and into the border ports to hide the true size and costs of its border policies. Let me explain.

To disguise the monthly border surges — in particular of illegal entrants from specific countries to which deportations are extremely difficult — the White House announced in January 2023 that it would be opening what it referred to as “Legal Pathways for Safe, Orderly, and Humane Migration”.

One of those pathways is “CHNV Parole”, under which up to 30,000 nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, none of whom have valid visas or any right to enter the United States, are nonetheless allowed to apply for parole from abroad each month and then fly to interior U.S. airports and be released into the United States, allegedly in lieu of entering illegally.

There’s one important caveat to that plan I should mention: None of the CHNV beneficiaries have to actually be living in those four countries to be granted CHNV parole. In fact (as my colleague Todd Bensman recently revealed), CHNV parolees are arriving from 77 different nations — including model democracies like France, Sweden, Germany, and Spain — and are receiving benefits under the program.

Even more interesting is the fact that the Cuban and Haitian beneficiaries of CHNV are immediately eligible upon arrival for a full host of “entitlements” (Medicaid, cash benefits, food stamps), all at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.

Yet another Biden administration policy — again first announced in January 2023 but implemented months before — allows would-be illegal migrants in central and northern Mexico to preschedule their unauthorized arrivals at the Southwest border ports of entry using the CBP One app.

For lack of a better name, I have referred to this (statutorily unauthorized) program as the “CBP One app interview scheme”, and the number of available slots has risen from 1,000 appointments per day in May 2023, to 1,250, and then to 1,450 as of June 30, 2023.

More than a Million Paroles. That brings me to the following Tweet, from Fox News’ Bill Melugin on June 21:

Sure enough, the CBP Monthly Update for May confirms that more than 636,600 inadmissible aliens have scheduled appointments at the Southwest border ports using CBP One, and that “about 462,100 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans” have arrived on CHNV Parole.

Congressional disclosures reveal that nearly 96 percent of aliens who schedule port appointments using the CBP One app are thereafter paroled into the country, so do the math and you’ll see that more than 1.071 million aliens have been granted parole benefits under these two “pathways” alone.

That’s on top of another million-plus aliens — again, none of whom have valid visas or any right to be admitted to the United States — who have been released into the country on parole, as I explained recently. That’s a population larger than 13 U.S. states, and it doesn’t include millions of other border migrants whom Biden’s DHS has released into the United States, and about 1.8 million others who simply evaded overwhelmed agents to enter and resettle here.

Aside from Melugin and a few other select outlets, you won’t hear that more than five million aliens are now residing unlawfully in this country thanks to the Biden administration’s “catch and release” policies and its so-called “legal pathways”. All you’ll be told is that apprehensions are down. But that’s only part of the story.