How Much Worse Can It Get?

By Mark Krikorian on August 13, 2021

I thought for sure the arrest numbers at the border would go down a little in July, if only because of the brutal summer heat.

I was wrong.

Border “encounters” continued their climb under the Biden administration, reaching about 213,000, up 13 percent from June. Of those, about 200,000 were Border Patrol arrests (the rest were illegals at ports of entry).

Perhaps most alarming is that the illegal surge continues to globalize. The share of Border Patrol arrests of illegals not from Mexico or the Northern Triangle countries of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) has doubled over the past six months, from about 15 percent in March to 29 percent in July. (See all the numbers here and here.)

In fact, the focus on the “Northern Triangle” might have to be modified. While Guatemala and Honduras are still major sources of illegals, El Salvador has been pushed out of fourth place among source countries of illegals; of the 57,000 arrests of non-Mexican/NTCA aliens, 17,000 were from Ecuador, 1,000 miles further south, far more than the 12,000 from El Salvador. Is Vice President Harris going to fix the “root causes” in Ecuador, too?

None of this should be a surprise. My colleague Todd Bensman recently visited a smuggling hub on the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border and published a series of posts under the heading “A United Nations of Illegal Immigration”, in which he described the open transit of people from Mauretania, Cuba, Senegal, Eritrea, and elsewhere. Many are Haitians who were firmly settled in Chile and Brazil, but who are taking Biden up on his invitation to, as Bensman put it, “apply for asylum and secure an economic upgrade”. Of course, resettlement in another country makes them ineligible for asylum, meaning that all of them will lie to U.S. authorities and pretend to have come straight from Haiti.

Even as the total number of arrests rose, the number expelled under the Title 42 public-health order dropped 9 percent, to account for less than half of total arrests. This means that, with a few exceptions, the majority of illegal aliens arrested in July by the Border Patrol were released into the United States, unlikely ever to be made to leave. Of those released, perhaps half won’t even bother to apply for asylum, having successfully used a claim of fear as a gambit for release; of those who do apply, most will be rejected, but stay anyway. That means in July, the Biden border crisis will have been responsible for at least, say, 75,000 new illegal aliens (not counting the got-aways, whose numbers are documented (by remote cameras and other means) to have been increasing as the Border Patrol is overwhelmed with caring for the families and teens Biden’s policies have attracted).

Most of this is happening in South Texas, which is the closest point to those traveling through Mexico to the U.S. But my colleague Andrew Arthur recently visited the Del Rio, Texas, area, upriver a ways, and reports that there’s little evidence of the existence of a border at all there, with Border Patrol vehicles parked in their lots and agents mainly occupied with processing aliens who’ve turned themselves in, confident in the knowledge that they’ll be dropped off at the Greyhound station in short order.

The Biden administration realizes the border crisis it has created is a political disaster, and it’s spinning furiously. DHS secretary Mayorkas was in South Texas yesterday, and at a press conference did his best Baghdad Bob imitation: “It is critical that intending migrants understand clearly that they will be turned back if they enter the United States illegally and do not have a basis for relief under our laws.”

No one believes that — not the smugglers, not wannabe illegal aliens, and not the voters. While I still think the August arrest numbers might dip, there is no way to restore order to the border without a 180-degree shift in Biden administration policy. And since that’s not going to happen without impeaching the president, The border crisis is here to stay, as Andy McCarthy wrote, at least until January 20, 2025. God help us all.