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Illegals crossing US-Mexico border already higher than all of 2021, an all-time high

Migrants who crossed illegally into the U.S. wait to board a bus to be processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on June 2, 2021, in La Joya, Texas. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
July 20, 2022

More than 1.74 million illegal immigrants have already been apprehended at the southwest border so far this year, already topping last year’s all-time record despite three months remaining in this fiscal year, new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data released Friday showed.

While the number of apprehensions dropped from 240,991 in May to 207,416 in June, the overall number of illegal immigrant apprehensions reached 1,746,119, breaking the previous record of 1,734,686, which was set during the first year of President Joe Biden’s administration.

CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus highlighted the 14 percent drop in illegal immigrant apprehensions month over month in a statement that ignored the record-breaking total.  

“While fluctuations are normal from month to month, we saw a 14 percent decrease in encounters compared to the previous month,” Magnus said. “We are committed to implementing our strategy of reducing irregular migration, dissuading migrants from undertaking the dangerous journey, and increasing enforcement efforts against human smuggling organizations.”

Magnus also warned against taking the “dangerous journey” across the U.S.-Mexico border.

“My message to those considering taking this dangerous journey is simple: this is not an easy passage, the human smugglers only care about your money – not your life or the lives of your loved ones, and you will be placed in removal proceedings from the United States if you cross the border without legal authorization and are unable to establish a legal basis to remain,” he added.

Ira Mehlman, spokesperson for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, slammed Magnus for “bragging” about the minimal decrease in southwest border apprehensions, according to the AZ Mirror.  

“We are averaging over 200,000 a month. June numbers (are) down a bit, but bragging about 9.1% to 8.9% is not going to please anybody,” Mehlman said, adding that the numbers are “trending in the wrong direction” and “there’s every expectation that the numbers are going to continue to soar until this administration decides that it is going to exercise its responsibilities and obligations to secure our borders and enforce our laws.”

While Magnus and the Biden administration continue to talk tough and caution against illegal border crossings, their actions at the southwest border cast doubt on the seriousness of their warnings.  

According to a Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, the Biden administration stopped prosecuting most illegal border crossings in 2021 – just 2,896 illegal immigrants who were arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border were assigned to U.S. Marshals Service for federal prosecution last year.

“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.