White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has outdone herself with a preposterous whopper regarding the consequences of the Biden administration’s disastrous immigration policies. On May 1st during her regular press briefing, she credited President Biden’s “actions” with bringing down illegal immigration “by more than 90 percent.”
Of course, the precise opposite is the case. On the very same day the White House press secretary made her outrageous claim, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz reported that in the previous 72 hours alone there were 22,220 apprehensions. These included one convicted murderer, two sex offenders, and one gang member. Two agents were assaulted.
Statistics published by the U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show that CBP apprehended illegal migrants crossing into the country a record 2,378,944 times in fiscal year 2022. This figure represents a more than 30 percent jump from the 1,734,686 apprehensions for fiscal year 2021. The situation is getting worse for fiscal year 2023. And law enforcement authorities are bracing for the expected surge of hundreds of thousands more illegal immigrants waiting for the Title 42 health emergency order to expire on May 11th before trying to enter the country.
Add to these totals the 1.2 million illegal migrants who eluded authorities altogether after crossing the border since President Biden took office, as reported by Fox News in January 2023 based on CBP sources. More than three months since that report, the number of such “gotaways” has surely climbed considerably.
None of the White House correspondents saw fit to immediately challenge Ms. Jean-Pierre on her appalling lie that President Biden’s actions have brought illegal immigration down “by more than 90 percent.” When Peter Doocy from Fox News did question the White House spinner-in-chief about her claim the next day, Ms. Jean-Pierre got snarky at first. After telling Mr. Doocy to bring down “the dramatics,” Ms. Jean-Pierre tried to worm her way out of the embarrassing spot she had put herself in. Her tactic was to put the onus on Mr. Doocy for not understanding what she really meant.
Ms. Jean-Pierre said her 90 percent figure referred to the far lower number of illegal immigrants coming from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba following the Biden administration’s announcement of a “parolee” program specifically applying to these four countries.
This program permits up to 30,000 people per month, who supposedly have an eligible sponsor and presumably pass vetting checks, to come to the United States for a period of two years and receive work authorization. The way the program is supposed to work is for migrants from these countries to make appointments through a mobile application known as CBP One before entering the country. Those who do not follow this process and try to enter the country illegally are subject to expulsion.
“So I was speaking to the parolee program,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said. “As you know, the President put in place a parolee program to deal with — to deal with certain countries on — on ways that we can limit illegal migration. And we have seen — the data has shown us that it has gone down by more than 90 percent. That was what I was speaking to.”
Even Press Secretary Jean-Pierre’s lame attempt to clean up what she had said on May 1st is misleading because she left out some key facts. No wonder the White House mouthpiece cut Peter Doocy off when he tried to ask a follow-up question.
Bill Melugin, a Fox News correspondent with plenty of experience reporting extensively from the U.S. Southwest Border, wrote a tweet that fills in the blanks: “There was a window of time earlier this year where encounters with Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and Cubans did temporarily dip 90% after a policy change, but other countries, like China, shot up over 800%. Illegal crossings, including Venezuelans, back at peak highs now.”
Moreover, it turns out that “Venezuelan border crossers have been living for years, safely, happily and prosperously in other countries” according to Todd Bensman, the author of “Overrun: How Joe Biden Unleashed the Greatest Border Crisis in U.S. History.” Mr. Bensman personally met and spoke with Venezuelans who have lived safely for years in such countries. Yet, with the intention to make bogus asylum claims, they are seeking to enter the U.S. for even better economic opportunities, not to escape persecution.
“This fact means a massive fraud is underway as Venezuelans become a main feature of an expected mass rush on the border after the midnight May 11 demise of the pandemic-era Title 42 rapid-expulsion policy that has been holding some back,” Mr. Bensman wrote.
The White House press secretary is amplifying the Biden administration’s repeated lies about its failed open border, catch and release immigration policies. The administration is doing everything it can to hide the fact that it is utterly unprepared for the mass rush to come.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has consistently made the patently false claim that the border is “secure,” and has testified that the U.S. has “operational control” of the border. Contradicting Mayorkas, however, Border Patrol Chief Ortiz testified last March that that the United States does not have operational control at the southern border.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Kent Wetherell II recently wrote a scathing opinion criticizing the Biden administration’s reversal of key Trump-era border protection policies. He described the Biden administration’s actions as “akin to posting a flashing ‘come in, we’re open’ sign at the southern border.”
The Biden administration, Judge Wetherell added, has “effectively turned the Southwest Border into a meaningless line in the sand and little more than a speed bump for aliens flooding into the country by prioritizing ‘alternatives to detention’ over actual detention and by releasing more than a million aliens into the country…without even initiating removal proceedings.”
The judge delivered his dire assessment before the expiration of Title 42 expulsion authority. As many as 700,000 migrants have been waiting in shelters in Mexico to come into the United States once Title 42 expires, according to a report in the World Tribune. The article referenced in this regard a warning by the DHS to the Yuma County Board of Supervisors. The warning also noted Border Patrol intelligence that they have observed a “500 percent surge in people crossing over” the Darian Gap at the Panama Canal “on their way up to the United States.”
The Biden administration is floundering as the expiration of Title 42 looms. The Defense Department has announced an increase of 1,500 military personnel to supplement U.S. Customs and Border Protection efforts on the U.S. Southwest Border. But they will be doing administrative work such as data entry and warehouse support so that CBP can devote more of its resources to the Biden administration’s number one priority – processing new arrivals before letting most of them go until their amnesty hearings.
The Biden administration is passing the buck, blaming congressional inaction for what they still describe as a “challenge” at the border, not the catastrophe that President Biden’s open border, catch and release policies have unleashed.
“We need legislative reform,” Secretary Mayorkas said during his April 30th appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press.
We sure do but the Biden administration’s ludicrous idea of legislative reform is to grant amnesty to most of the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country and open the floodgates to millions more.
The House Republican majority, not surprisingly, wants to solve the border crisis, not make it even worse. They are proposing a package of legislative fixes to turn around the utter chaos that the Biden administration’s reckless immigration policies have created.
The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill (H.R. 2640) that would close major loopholes in the asylum process that illegal immigrants have exploited. For example, H.R. 2640 narrows the grounds for which asylum may be granted in the first place by focusing eligibility on persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution primarily from a government-affiliated entity. Domestic abuse and fears of violence from criminal street gangs would not count.
H.R. 2640 expands the types of crimes that may make an individual ineligible for asylum. The bill calls for rejecting requests from asylum seekers for protection at a U.S. border who did not take advantage of asylum opportunities in a third country deemed safe through which they traveled en route to the U.S.
H.R. 2640 also puts an end to catch and release, requiring instead that asylum claimants waiting for the adjudication of their claims be detained or await the adjudication of their claims in Mexico.
The House Homeland Security Committee has moved along companion legislation that focuses on border security through such measures as increasing Border Patrol hiring to enforce the immigration laws, not process amnesty claims, and resuming border wall construction.
The gaping amnesty loopholes must be closed. Strict deterrence measures must be codified into law that end catch and release. And the border must be fully secured with enhanced law enforcement resources and completion of the border wall. Otherwise, post-Title 42, the American people will suffer the consequences of an even more catastrophic invasion of illegal immigrants into the United States that President Biden has set into motion.