Where Are the June Border Numbers?

Is CBP simply overwhelmed, or is the Biden administration deliberately hiding the stats?

By Andrew R. Arthur on July 14, 2021

As I have explained many times in the recent past, the Southwest border is in chaos, with the number of illegal immigrants apprehended there in April and May at 21-year monthly highs. If you want proof of how bad things are, consider the fact that two weeks into July, CBP has not issued its “encounter” numbers for June yet, suggesting either a total breakdown at the border or political shenanigans.

This should not be a difficult task for CBP, DHS, or the Biden administration. Procedures for processing aliens are fully automated and tabulated in real time. CBP should know on the second day of any month how many aliens its agents and officers apprehended the month before.

Consequently, CBP’s 14-day (and counting) delay in releasing Southwest border statistics means one of two things, neither of which is good.

On the one hand, that delay may have resulted from the fact that Border Patrol and the officers at the ports are so overwhelmed that they can’t even process and run background checks on all of the migrants whom they have encountered.

If that’s true, the United States does not really know who all the foreign nationals are who have entered illegally and been released into the interior. Most — and possibly all — could simply be economic migrants looking for the opportunity to make more money in this country, and to take advantage of better schools, hospitals, and public services.

You, the American taxpayer must pay for all of those things, and so even that scenario is bad. Still, it’s the best-case scenario in terms of massive numbers of unscreened foreign nationals pouring into this country.

The worst-case scenario is that mixed in with that flow are criminals, gang members, traffickers, and yes, possibly terrorists. Most true malefactors in the past have engaged in fraud to gain access to the United States, but that’s because — traditionally — the risk of apprehension and rigorous screening at the border have made fraud a better option than illegal entry.

At the present time, however, 40 percent of Border Patrol agents are tied up caring for the aliens that they have already apprehended, so mixing in with a flood of illegal aliens (and possibly never getting caught at all) could well be the better option if you are coming to this country with bad intentions.

At this point, it’s not up to me to prove that the migrants entering illegally are simply “seeking a better life” (as if that’s an excuse). It’s up to the Biden administration to prove that they have identified and plucked the “bad apples” from the bunch. The failure to publish border statistics suggests that they can’t do that, and that’s a big problem.

On the other hand, however, CBP may be slow walking the border numbers deliberately because the Biden border disaster is bad politically for the administration. I really hope that is not the case, but it makes sense.

As I recently explained, an uptick in ICE’s detention of aliens who were apprehended by CBP (almost exclusively by the Border Patrol) and a review of the May CBP statistics reveal that tens of thousands of aliens that month were not expelled under Title 42, and while an increasing number are being detained, even more are being released.

By law, as I explained in that earlier post, all of them are supposed to be detained. The Biden administration, however, is simply ignoring that congressional mandate, without even apologizing for doing so.

Immigration advocates and some minority of Americans may be just fine with that, but I seriously doubt that if the vast majority of voters knew that the border is wide open (which it is) and that the law is not being enforced there (ditto) that they would be too pleased.

For most of the public, the border is immigration, and if the border is out of control, immigration enforcement and the rule of law have broken down and the government (read: the party in power) is failing.

But voters take vacations (and Congress takes recess) in the middle of the summer, so the longer that the Biden administration can hold back the statistics, the fewer people (and more importantly, the fewer people in power) will notice.

It’s a fortnight into July and CBP hasn’t released its border statistics for June. That’s either because the agency is so overwhelmed by the flood of migrants that it can’t compile those statistics (which would be indicative of a threat to public safety), or the Biden administration is deliberately waiting for voters to go to the beach to release bad news (which reeks of politics). Neither of those scenarios is good for public safety or the body politic.