By Corinne Murdock |
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) is investigating reports of the northern border points of entry remaining open for 24 hours without any Border Patrol agents to man them.
In a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Troy Miller, Biggs relayed that he and other congressmen were receiving reports that the Canadian border points of entry have been left open and unattended for extended periods of time.
Additionally, Biggs relayed that unnamed sources reported CBP agents and staff receiving instructions to open points of entry for up to 24 hours a day despite not having sufficient personnel to operate them.
Border crossing data reflects an increased number of illegal border crossings in the same area — namely by foreign nationals hailing from Asian and Middle Eastern countries — which Biggs pointed out.
Biggs posed several questions to Mayorkas concerning the current hours of operation for points of entry along the northern border, as well as the staffing levels for regular and extended operating hours of the border and each point of entry. Copies of all memoranda, guidance, and similar materials relating to operating hours along the northern border were requested.
Joining Biggs in the letter were Reps. Tom Tiffany (R-WI-07) and Matt Rosendale (R-MT-02).
If Mayorkas responds with any affirmative of an open border policy — meaning, extending operating hours without sufficient personnel oversight — it appears that Biggs and other members of Congress intend to reverse those measures. In a press release, Biggs stated that there was no justification for such an alleged policy.
“There is simply no way to justify an open border policy like this and I look forward to hearing Mr. Mayorkas and Mr. Miller’s rationale behind their current practice,” said Biggs.
Biggs also accused the Biden administration of dismantling border security in the north as they’d done in the south.
“It’s unconscionable to hear that the Biden Administration would authorize inadequately supervised or even completely unmanned ports of entries. The American people deserve to understand the extent of this problem,” said Biggs. “There are numerous recent intelligence reports revealing that the northern border is experiencing an unprecedented surge in illegal border crossings—including by foreign nationals from terror-prone countries.”
Northern border encounters skyrocketed during the 2022 and current fiscal years. (Border encounter fiscal years run from October of the previous year through September). The 2020 fiscal year had about 32,300 encounters, while the 2021 fiscal year had nearly 27,200 encounters.
This last fiscal year, from October 2021 to September 2022, there were over 109,500 encounters — over four times as many as the same time period from October 2020 to September 2021, and over three times as many from October 2019 to September 2020.
Current northern border encounters stand to far surpass the unprecedented increase experienced in the last fiscal year. From October 2022 to May, there were over 115,500 encounters along the northern border. If the average per month encounters continue at this rate for the current fiscal year, there may be over 173,300 encounters by the end of September.