President Joe Biden’s administration stopped prosecuting most illegal border crossings in 2021, despite the U.S. Customs and Border Protection arresting a record number of illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to a Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, just 2,896 illegal immigrants who were arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border were assigned to U.S. Marshals Service for federal prosecution in fiscal year 2021.
By comparison, in fiscal year 2020, the final year of then-President Donald Trump’s first term, federal authorities prosecuted 13,213 illegal immigrants.
The significant drop in prosecutions came as the southwest border experienced the worst illegal immigrant crisis in U.S. history, closing out 2021 with 1,734,686 illegal immigrant apprehensions, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
“The lack of accountability from this administration encourages the worst people flooding our borders, criminals, to keep violating our laws until they finally commit a crime so egregious that the Department of Justice is forced to prosecute,” a senior DHS official told the Beacon.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Biden administration, ruling that it could end the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forced asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while their cases were heard in U.S. immigration courts.
The DHS praised the court’s 5-4 decision in a statement, writing, “We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision affirming that the Secretary has the discretionary authority to terminate the program, and we will continue our efforts to terminate the program as soon as legally permissible.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the ruling “makes the border crisis worse” but vowed to keep fighting for a secure border.
“I’ll keep pressing forward and focus on securing the border and keeping our communities safe in the dozen other immigration suits I’m litigating in court,” Paxton said, as reported by The Texas Tribune.
Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched a plan to bus illegal immigrants to Washington, D.C. in an effort to alleviate some of the strain border communities have been feeling as the border crisis continues.
“Governor Abbott launched Texas’s border bus mission back in April to bring President Biden’s border crisis to his backyard in Washington, D.C., and to help Texas border communities that are being overrun as the federal government dumps migrants in their towns,” Abbott spokeswoman Renae Eze told the Washington Examiner.
“Now, D.C. is experiencing just a fraction of the humanitarian crisis overwhelming our border communities and our state every single day,” Eze continued. “With our nation’s capital finally feeling the pressure of President Biden’s reckless open border policies, it’s time he does his job and secures the border.”
D.C.’s Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser acknowledged that the buses filled with illegal immigrants are causing a “very significant issue” in the capital city.
“I fear that they’re being tricked into nationwide bus trips when their final destinations are places all over the United States of America,” Bowser said during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
The city’s largely Democrat city council also recently sent Mayor Bowser a letter urging her to provide additional resources and request assistance from the federal government.
“After three months with no direct support from the District government, they are burned out and overwhelmed,” 10 city council members wrote. “With the number of buses arriving every day increasing rapidly, we encourage you to mobilize your administration to coordinate with other jurisdictions in the region to step in and assist with the response.”