In October of 2023, the House Committee on Homeland Security released a fact sheet of “Border Crisis Startling Stats,” laying out the Customs and Border Patrol Agency’s latest figures on border crossings. The number of total crossings in the last 3 years alone is mind-boggling: “Since President Biden took office, there have been 7.5 million encounters nationwide and 6.2 million encounters at the Southwest border, in addition to 1.7 million known gotaways.”
That’s at least an extra 9 million residents in the US just since the last election.
“Gotaways” is the term for what most of us may imagine when we think of people successfully sneaking across the border for any number of reasons, licit or illicit.
While the “gotaways” are obviously concerning because we have no idea who they are or what they’re here for, the “encounters” are equally concerning because of their sheer numbers and regardless of their reasons for being here.
Each “encounter” represents an illegal immigrant who presents themselves to a federal agent to be processed, usually to apply for asylum and be given a court date, often years in the future.
It’s the “encounters” which local, state, and federal governments get tangled up in knots trying to manage – and whom taxpayers foot the bill to provide food and housing for. Let’s take a look at the issues that must be dealt with in dealing with these individuals in such high numbers.
When CBP agents encounter a group of illegal immigrants, they are transported to a temporary facility before being processed and given a court date often in a city near their given destination. Their court date may be years in the future, however. In the meantime, the immigrants have to find places to live and work.
Under President Trump, “Sanctuary Cities” were all the rage. Pretentious mayors and city councils of liberal cities patted themselves on the back for their charitable stances, contrasted with that of Republican leaders who have argued for tightening immigration policies for decades.
Those cities are singing a different tune today. Texas, having born the brunt of illegal entry over the decades, began in 2022 to demand that these “sanctuary cities” put their money where their mouth is. While many illegal immigrants will find their own way to these cities, Texas is happy to help as well. Following their processing, Texas happily buses the new US residents who are awaiting their court date to cities like NYC, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
These cities’ residents and governments are now getting a taste of what Texas has delt with for years. Just within the past few months, a Brooklyn school went virtual for a day, so that 2,000 migrants could spend the night in the school building. Residents of a Chicago suburb had to give up their field house to house migrants. Citizens of Massachusetts were asked to host immigrants in their own homes. New York City itself filed a $708 million lawsuit against the charter bus companies which Texas hired to bring the immigrants, they’re so fed up with how much their sanctuary city policy has cost them. They’re not just housing these people, they’re feeding them as well. After all, until they are granted legal status, they can’t get legal work.
Texas is far from exporting the entire problem to other states, however.
Texas has deployed the National Guard and allocated $11.5 billion to securing their border in a necessary, if controversial, operation called Operation Lone Star, which CBS news sums up this way: “Under his direction, Texas has bused tens of thousands of migrants to Democratic-led cities, arrested thousands of migrant adults on trespassing charges and fortified the Rio Grande with razor wire and floating barriers.” Most recently, the Texas National Guard took control of a large park in the city of Eagle Pass, refusing to allow federal agents on site as they “perpetuate illegal crossings,” and patrolling it themselves. CBP agents are so frustrated by their own orders that their union release a statement praising the governor’s move.
The Biden administration threatened legal action and just this week, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas could not block Biden’s Customs and Border Patrol from removing the razor wire which has slowed down illegal crossings. In other words, Biden sued Texas for doing more to protect the border than he was and the Supreme Court ruled that his policy of pointed neglect had precedence over Texas’ efforts.
So far, Governor Abbott has stood his ground in defiance of the Supreme Court’s ruling, preventing federal agents from removing the means by which Texas National Guard has made an impact on the massive numbers. Pray for courage for Abbott and the Texas National Guard to do what’s best for their citizens!
Also, in December, Governor Abbott signed a law allowing the state to arrest people for illegal entry and allowing judges to order them forcibly removed.
The Biden administration responded by filing a lawsuit arguing the state “cannot run its own immigration system.” As much as cities in the interior are being overrun, you would think they’d be as happy for the help as their agents are, unless, of course, they want cities to be overrun.
New York Congresswoman Yvette Clarke candidly explained her position in a two-year-old clip that recently went viral: “When I hear colleagues talking about the doors of the inn being closed, there being no room in the inn… I’m saying, I need more people in my district just for redistricting purposes.” Former Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer shared the video with this sarcastic explanation, “We need more people to come to America illegally – so I can keep my job in Congress. If you want to know why D[emocrat]s support illegal immigration, here’s your sorry answer…”
Few politicians will be as open with their motivations as Congresswoman Clarke, but all these new people in the nation only helps one side.
Journalist James O’Keefe shared a video of himself asking a recently arrived illegal immigrant if he planned to vote; the man responded, in broken English, yes, and for Biden, because he did so much to help him get here.
Is it any wonder the Biden administration doesn’t want to crack down on illegal immigration?