New York Post, April 19, 2023
The Biden administration’s plan to hide the border crisis isn’t working.
The idea was to get prospective border-jumpers to instead schedule their illegal entry to the United States through an app called CBP One.
The White House hoped this would replace news footage of Border Patrol agents greeting human-wave crossings of illegal immigrants with orderly, boring images of people at legal ports of entry, or even at airports in the interior, holding permission slips issued (illegally) by the Department of Homeland Security.
But it’s not working.
The administration announced in January that up to 30,000 people from Venezuela, Haiti, Nicaragua and Cuba would be admitted each month through the CBP One app and paroled (again, illegally) into the United States — and that those who didn’t use it and jumped the border would be bounced back into Mexico.
This did, in fact, cause a drop in illegal crossings for a couple months, as prospective illegal immigrants adopted a wait-and-see approach. (Arrests of illegal crossers dropped only compared with the earlier stratospheric levels; January’s numbers were down from December, but were quadruple the level of January 2020 under President Trump.)
Wait-and-see made sense initially, because 99% of would-be illegal immigrants who got an appointment through CBP One ended up being let in and let go. (Let me stress again how illegal this whole thing is, which is why the state of Florida is suing to make DHS stop.)
The problem is that CBP One doesn’t work especially well, and the number of slots it gives out each day is limited in any case — it’s almost a lottery as to whether you’ll get the OK.
This has led increasing numbers of people, lured to the US border by Biden’s rhetoric and policies, to skip the CBP One process and just jump the border as before.
I recently visited a migrant shelter in the Mexican border town of Mexicali, which houses people awaiting their CBP One appointments.
I learned that the shelter’s former director had just been fired — because he was smuggling into the United States residents of the shelter who’d grown tired of waiting for CBP One!
Now if the administration’s threats to immediately expel anyone who didn’t use the app were true, this wouldn’t continue because word would spread that Biden was serious this time.
But, in fact, people who bypass the app and cross anyway, especially if they have kids with them, are generally let in and let go.
When people get away with this, they tell their friends and relatives, and more follow.
And this is going to get a whole lot worse when Title 42 expulsions end next month.
This is why the surge of foreigners transiting Mexico on their way north continues apace.
Juarez, for instance — the Mexican city opposite El Paso and one of the main centers of the border crisis — is hosting tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from Venezuela and elsewhere, sleeping in parks and abandoned buildings, preparing to cross the border.
It’s gotten so bad there that the governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which includes Juarez, recently demanded that Mexico’s federal government enforce its own southern border with Guatemala to stop the flow of migrants.
Amid the administration’s ongoing failure to control the border — or even to hide the disaster it’s created — DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas continues to insist that he’s got things under control.
He told a congressional committee Wednesday — and I am not making this up — “It is my testimony that the border is secure.”
A colleague of mine recently wrote, “It’s hard to decide which is worse — the fact that the Biden administration is allowing millions of illegal aliens to live and work the United States despite Congress’ statutory limits, or the lengths to which it’s going to hide that fact.”
They’re both pretty bad. And we’ve got at least two more years of this.