Most illegal immigrants crossing the border are released into the United States.
In a recent meeting with federal officials that was broadcasted by Fox News journalist Bill Melugin, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reportedly “admitted that the current release rate for migrants caught crossing the border illegally is ‘above 85%.’”
Melugin added context in a later post, divulging his conversation with a DHS official on background, which did not amount to a denial of Mayorkas’ admission to Border Patrol agents. The Fox News reporter was able to share an official statement from the department, that read, “After the ending of Title 42 in May, through the end of the fiscal year, DHS removed or returned more noncitizens without a basis to remain in the United States than in any other five-month period in the last ten years. In fact, the majority of all Southwest Border migrant encounters throughout this Administration have been removed, returned, or expelled – the majority of them. We are doing everything we can, within a broken system, to incentivize noncitizens to use lawful pathways, to impose consequences on those who do not, and to reduce irregular migration.”
The crisis at America’s southern border has deteriorated out of control in the past year, after steadily expanding in the first two years of the Biden administration. In Fiscal Year 2021, which Biden inherited, there were 1,734,686 encounters at the Southwest Border. In FY 2022, there were 2,378,944 apprehensions, and then 2,475,669 in the just-completed fiscal year (2023) – a record number. Already in FY 2024, there have been 483,404 arrests of illegal immigrants – with December’s reported number of over ‘300,000’ encounters still outstanding from CBP’s official chart.
While these apprehension numbers are concerning, the figures do not represent the worst of the situation at the border. Almost two million ‘gotaways’ have been estimated to have entered the country since Biden took office in January 2021. Also, the amount of fentanyl seized at the border has increased over the years, leading to educated speculation that much more of this deadly drug is finding its way around law enforcement and into communities from coast to coast.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.
Thousands of migrants from potentially troublesome countries are being apprehended at America’s southern border, while many others could be slipping past law enforcement.
On Tuesday, Fox News journalist Bill Melugin reported that “Internal CBP data provided & confirmed by CBP sources reveals thousands of ‘special interest aliens’ from mostly Middle Eastern countries have been apprehended by Border Patrol while crossing into U.S. illegally over last 2 years.”
Melugin clarified that “a special interest alien is a term used by the U.S. government to refer to people coming from countries that have conditions that favor or harbor terrorism, or pose a potential national security to the U.S.”
From 10/1/2021 to 10/4/2023, the following apprehensions by nation of origin were reported:
The decorated reporter added some concerning context for his report, writing, “Border Patrol sources tell me they have extreme concerns about who is coming into the country because they have little to no way of vetting people from these special interest countries. I’m told unless they have committed a crime previously in the US, or they are on some sort of federal watchlist, there’s no way to know who they are because most of their home countries don’t share data/records with the US so there is nothing to match a name to when BP agents run fingerprints.”
The number of apprehensions from ‘special interest countries’ follows continuing reports of an increase in the number of suspected terrorists who have been encountered this fiscal year, along with the ‘gotaways’ who have escaped detection from law enforcement. Over 150 suspected terrorists have already been nabbed over the past eleven months, which was a stark rise from the previous year (when 98 suspected terrorists were arrested at the southern border). According to CBP data, only 26 total suspected terrorists were apprehended at the southern border from Fiscal Years 17-21.
If the issues of “special interest nations” and “suspected terrorists” apprehensions weren’t bad enough for the country, the number of ‘gotaways’ present a far-greater problem for the United States. More than 1.5 million of these individuals are estimated to have escaped capture by border officials, meaning that they likely are anywhere within the American homeland. Adding to fears from law enforcement, the identities and motives of these aliens are almost entirely unknown.
Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen addressed this danger in his statement about the horrific terrorist attack in Israel over the weekend. Petersen said, “Our own country must remain vigilant, as our wide open border, ignored by Joe Biden and Democrats, remains one of the greatest threats to our national security. This same situation can happen at anytime on our own soil, and we call on the federal government to take immediate action.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.
Gov. Katie Hobbs wants to ensure that illegal immigrants get a taxpayer-funded college education; she proposed an initial $40 million investment to realize this goal.
Hobbs issued the proposal during her State of the State Address on Monday in the Capitol. She named the proposed investment after those qualified to remain in the country under former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“In line with the will of Arizona’s voters in passing Proposition 308 this past November, my budget allocates $40 million to create the Promise For Dreamers Scholarship Program to cover all students, regardless of immigration status,” stated Hobbs.
Hobbs’ proposal brought some of the loudest cheers from the Democrats on the floor.
In a subsequent statement on Twitter, Hobbs described opposition to Prop 308 and outrage over illegal immigration as “politicized.” She relieved President Joe Biden of much of his responsibility for the border crisis, instead insisting that both Democrats and Republicans were to blame.
“Unfortunately, immigration has been politicized for far too long. Arizona voters told us in November they don’t want or need political stunts designed solely to garner sensationalist TV coverage and generate social media posts,” stated Hobbs.
Hobbs’ remarks follow the narrow passage of Proposition 308, which awards in-state college tuition rates to Dreamers. The proposition was backed by at least $1.2 million of out-of-state dark money network funding.
Following Prop 308, the state’s universities moved quickly to offer scholarships to illegal immigrant students. Northern Arizona University (NAU), one of the latest, partnered with a scholarship program fund operated by the New Venture Fund, one nonprofit arm of one of the nation’s leading leftist dark money networks, Arabella Advisors. Those eligible for these scholarships include illegal immigrant students eligible for deportation.
Hobbs proposes this additional $40 million, though Arizona already spends hundreds of millions on K-12 illegal immigrant children’s education. In 2020, illegal immigrant students cost Arizona public schools over $748 million. 99 percent of those funds come from local and state taxes, not the federal government.
Some Republicans have supported improving tuition affordability for illegal immigrant students. Last summer, the Arizona House awarded a proclamation to an illegal immigrant activist group for advocating for in-state tuition and education for illegal immigrants. The group, Aliento, was co-founded by a DACA recipient or “Dreamer,” Reyna Montoya.
Montoya graduated from Arizona State University (ASU) with degrees in political science and transborder studies, with recognition as “Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student,” before earning a master’s degree there in secondary education.
During Hobbs’ address, members of the Arizona Freedom Caucus staged a walkout in protest of Hobbs’ agenda. The caucus criticized Hobbs, claiming that she failed to address the real concerns facing Arizonans. State Sen. Jake Hoffman (R-LD15), the caucus chairman, claimed that Hobbs was exploiting her executive power to a tyrannical degree.
“We’re seeing a new breed of Democratic Fascism take hold of the Governor’s office,” stated Hoffman.
State Rep. Jacqueline Parker (R-LD15), vice chairwoman of the caucus, said that it was wrong for legislators to remain before Hobbs while she spoke, claiming it was complicity in Hobbs’ use of office for activism.
“We could not sit idly by while she repeatedly declared her intention to advance her woke agenda that stands at odds with the people of our state,” said Parker.
Watch Hobbs’ entire State of the State Address below:
The Biden administration closed out its 2022 fiscal year with close to 2.4 million border encounters: the highest ever recorded in one year.
According to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data released last Friday, the administration also made history with its total September encounters: over 227,500. This total doesn’t reflect estimated “gotaways”: those who escape without apprehension.
With this historic influx of illegal immigrants came an unprecedented number of terrorists. Nearly 100 illegal immigrants apprehended were on the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). As Fox reporter Bill Melugin noted, that’s nearly quadruple the number of terrorists caught crossing illegally from the past five years combined.
A key part of the border crisis is the burgeoning fentanyl crisis. Last month alone, CBP seized enough fentanyl to kill over 220,000 people. Their other seizures indicate that Biden’s lax border policy is lucrative for the cartels: over $4.1 million worth of drugs, firearms, and pesticides, as well as over $11 million worth of narcotics.
CBP data reflects the reality that hard drugs overtook marijuana as the preferred substance of smugglers. Last month, CBP reported over 1,800 pounds of fentanyl seized: over 14,100 pounds for the 2022 fiscal year, and close to 21,600 pounds since President Joe Biden took office. That’s well over double of what was seized between January 2019 and December 2020: just under 10,000 pounds.
While fentanyl trafficking skyrocketed, the overall number of drugs seized by weight decreased. From January 2019 to December 2020, CBP seized just under 1.4 million pounds of drugs (most of which was marijuana, meth, cocaine, fentanyl, then heroin, in that order). From January 2020 to present, CBP seized just under 590,000 pounds of drugs (again, most of which were marijuana, meth, cocaine, fentanyl, then heroin, in that order).
Biden named Vice President Kamala Harris the border czar last March, but Harris did little to address the crisis. It took her three months to visit the border after that, visiting El Paso, Texas in late June, although GOP members of Congress criticized that Harris visited a Border Patrol station miles away from the border crisis playing out along the Rio Grande.
According to a Los Angeles Times tracker of Harris’ schedule, analyzed by the New York Post, the vice president didn’t hold an immigration event in nine months as of May.
Last week, Arizona sued the Biden administration after the Department of Interior (DOI) ordered the state to remove shipping containers and razor wire closing up the border wall gaps. The DOI accused Governor Doug Ducey of committing trespass. Bureau of Reclamation Regional Director Jacklynn Gould promised that the Biden administration was making headway on closing the border themselves.
“That trespass is harming federal lands and resources and impeding Reclamation’s ability to perform its mission,” stated Gould.
In response, Ducey said that his obligation to Arizonans was greater than to the federal government.
“The safety and security of Arizona and its citizens must not be ignored,” stated Ducey. “Arizona is going to do the job that Joe Biden refuses to do — secure the border in any way we can. We’re not backing down.”
On Monday, Ducey announced that the state continued adding onto the border wall over the weekend — starting the day the state sued the Biden administration.
“Arizona isn’t afraid of a challenge. We will not back down. We will protect our state,” tweeted Ducey.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Tuesday it will lift the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
The program required non-Mexican migrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their claims were processed.
The DHS changes followed a Monday ruling from Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk with the Texas Northern District Court, which lifted his previous injunction from last August requiring DHS to reimplement the MPP in good faith. Kacsmaryk’s recent ruling aligned with the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) reversal in June of his August ruling.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has stated that the MPP stands in the way of the immigration system’s improvement.
“The MPP has endemic flaws, imposed unjustifiable human costs, pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts, and did not address the root causes of irregular migration,” stated Mayorkas.
Mayorkas cited the Biden administration mantra on immigration — “safe, orderly, and humane” — to contrast MPP with their reform goals.
The “safe, orderly, and human” slogan is cited frequently in left-wing circles. Immigration reform activists, like the Hope Border Institute, used it to praise the Biden administration’s initial rollback of MPP last March.
Catholic bishops along the southern border also cited the slogan while advocating for illegal immigration.
CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus — formerly Tucson’s controversial police chief who told officials not to enforce immigration laws and instead uphold sanctuary city policies — also used the slogan to describe their ideal reimagined approach to border security.
Over 5,700 migrants were enrolled in the MPP from December through June. That’s about 60 percent of initial MPP enrollments, totaling over 9,600, with the remaining 40 percent (over 3,400) disenrolled.
MPP enrollments make up less than one percent (.6 percent) of all illegal immigrant encounters along the southwest border since December: over 1.4 million. As of press time, the southwest border encounter totals for July have yet to be released.
There have been over 3.2 million southwest border encounters since President Joe Biden took office.