border crossing
May Border Crossings Reaches Another All-Time High

June 18, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

The latest border crossing data published this week revealed another all-time high of over 239,400, indicating that President Joe Biden’s border crisis won’t be getting better anytime soon. The latest number marked a 300 percent increase from the average May number under former President Donald Trump. 

Under Biden, there have been 3.3 illegal immigrants encountered. So far this year, there have been over 1.5 illegal immigrants encountered.

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data showed that the number of illegal immigrants encountered climbed from nearly 235,500 in April. The number of illegal crossings spiked in March after a drop in January, which still registered a record high of over 154,800 crossings.

Recidivism rates more than doubled from pre-pandemic levels. They dropped from 14 percent in 2015 to 7 percent in 2019. The rate has been climbing steadily from 26 percent in 2020, to 27 percent in 2021.

As reported previously, the CBP data only reflects encounters. The actual number of illegal crossings are estimated to be much higher. “Gotaways” reflect illegal immigrants that weren’t apprehended. 

CBP sources informed Fox News that there have been around 830,000 gotaways since about the time Biden took office at the beginning of last year: about 440,000 this year so far, with about 390,000 in 2021. 

Biden hasn’t tweeted any formal statements on the southern border since last September, when he lamented over the treatment of illegal Haitian immigrants by Border Patrol. In recent months, Biden has focused on Ukraine’s border. 

Rather, the president’s latest statements on the border focused on ensuring “humane and coordinated border management systems.” During an endorsement event for the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, Biden did condemn illegal immigration. He noted that the government is partnering with Mexico to conduct “mirror patrols,” in which Border Patrol agents from both countries mirror one another’s patrol along the border.

“Unlawful migration is not acceptable, and we’ll secure our borders, including through innovative, coordinated actions with our regional partners,” said Biden. 

The declaration served as a unified statement pledging community assistance, legal immigration pathway expansion, humane migration management, and coordinated emergency responses. Of note, the declaration promised to increase public and private services for migrants, expand labor migration pathways for migrants, and expand regular pathways for migrants.

In Wednesday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre didn’t address the latest CBP numbers, instead focusing on Ukraine’s borders. Jean-Pierre didn’t touch the border crisis during Thursday’s press briefing, either. 

Over the last few weeks, Jean-Pierre has cut the questions portion of press briefings short — much to the chagrin of reporters. Jean-Pierre ended Wednesday’s press briefing after taking reporters’ questions for 13 minutes. 

Following viral criticism over keeping the questions portion of press briefings short, Jean-Pierre fielded questions for about 42 minutes during Thursday’s press briefing. 

Last month, the Arizona House GOP issued a legislative proclamation denouncing Biden for his handling of the border crisis. 

Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) claimed credit for mitigating the border crisis within Congress’ annual budget bill: nearly 2.3 billion for CBP hiring and retention, CBP mental health and clinicians, CBP border management costs, ICE border management costs, border security technology, ports of entry technology, ports of entry feasibility study, creation of joint processing centers, food and shelter for migrants, transportation for migrants, and asylum processing.

However, the increased spending may not have a greater impact than the previous decisions by the two senators which arguably have contributed to the crisis. 

Back in December, Kelly and Sinema voted with their colleagues to confirm Chris Magnus as the new CBP commissioner. Magnus has denied the existence of the border crisis repeatedly. During his tenure as chief of police in Tucson, Magnus told officials not to enforce immigration laws and instead continue with sanctuary city policies.

The two also voted to send stimulus checks to illegal immigrants, adding onto two crises in one blow: the inflation crisis, and the border crisis. 

Exactly one year ago, the Biden administration claimed that Trump broke the immigration system, characterizing it as all “chaos and mismanagement,” and that border numbers would fluctuate based on annual migration trends. The number of illegal border crossings have only gone up since then.

Last April, Biden claimed that they had gotten the border under control. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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