By Todd Bensman as published January 24, 2023 in Newsweek
In its latest monthly announcement of record illegal immigrant apprehensions at the southern border, the Biden administration took credit for certain steep declines which it attributed to “our new border enforcement measures.”
The number of Venezuelans unlawfully crossing was down 82 percent from its peak in September, for instance. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Troy Miller, in the January 20 release, boasted that “early data suggests the expanded measures for Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans are having a similar impact.”
“And,” Miller continued,” we look forward to sharing the additional data in the next update.”
No doubt. But the declines Miller promised are a premeditated deceit. Americans who care about stemming the historic tide of illegal immigrants should prepare for further prevarications and reject them in favor of the truth.
The American public will indeed see sharp declines in the monthly illegal apprehension statistics, starting with the January report which comes out next month. And the Biden administration will tout these as evidence of vastly improved border security, thanks to a new “enforcement” system it has just expanded.
But this claim of enforcement success is founded on a purposeful accounting cheat. The illusion would impress Harry Houdini.
Under a plan announced January 5, the administration has begun demanding that the largest groups of immigrants crossing lately—up to 360,000 Haitians, Cubans, Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans each year—forgo their illegal plans and instead apply online for “humanitarian parole” on a secure Internet portal called CBP One, while still south of the border.
Mexico, the United Nations, and a wide constellation of non-governmental organizations will support the immigrants while they wait, helping them collect application documents, a plausible-sounding tale of woe, and a U.S. sponsor in the states willing to put them up. Then, Mexican immigration officials escort the “pre-legalized” approved immigrants in handoffs to American inspectors at official ports of entry, whereupon, all are released into America with two-year work authorizations.
Voila! The Biden administration can report big reductions in the politically inconvenient illegal crossing statistics while a different statistical column, which no one can see, reflects the equivalent increase in entries.
The illusion provides the perfect propaganda opportunity for Biden’s government: fraudulently claim border security success as though foreign nationals had gone home or settled in some other country.
For instance, CBP Commissioner Miller proudly reported in his press release that the number of illegally crossing Venezuelans had declined from 1,100 a day to 100 a day after the announcement of the CBP One program. This represented “far lower numbers as a result of the migration enforcement process.”
Of course, Miller did not mention that many of the same people are being let in anyway with his agency’s approval of their online humanitarian parole applications.
Under the illusion is this hard fact: the CBP One process does not enforce any of the U.S. immigration laws that actually deter mass migration by detaining and deporting. It does nothing to reduce the historic volume of foreign nationals who are pouring in nonstop.
Instead, the program channels those migrants directly into American cities that will, in growing numbers, declare emergencies and demand federal bailouts to handle the influx. It does nothing to alleviate the transformative impacts of mass migration on civil society.
In fact, the most likely scenario is that this system will entice even greater numbers of migrants because they won’t have to pay cartels thousands of dollars to smuggle them over and they’ll attain that most valuable of all valuables: a U.S. work permit.
It should be little wonder that thousands are even now lining up for the new CBP One pre-legalization program, according to Mexican media.
Americans deserve to know that this administration is engaging in Houdini-esque sleight of hand to disguise increasing immigration over the border as vast decreases.
The Biden administration insists that CBP One only applies to 30,000 Haitians, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and Cubans each month and that, therefore, the new process will be capped at 360,000 migrants per year.
But Center for Immigration Studies field research conducted during fall 2022 suggests that far greater numbers of people have been using the system all along the border, and were doing so for many months before the administration officially unveiled its “new” plan. During field visits to Tijuana and Mexicali shelters that feed the CBP One system, CIS found that Biden’s DHS had granted CBP One humanitarian parole handoffs to people of many nationalities. This would strongly suggest that far greater numbers than the commonly reported 360,000 per year will be crossing in this pre-legalized manner.
CIS learned that, since at least August 2022, CBP One humanitarian paroles were granted to regular Mexican citizens, to people coming from Central America, and to people coming from Africa. One shelter had funneled through the CBP One system at least 300 immigrants from Muslim-majority countries throughout the Middle East and South Asia. The process had no nationality limits—contrary to what the Biden administration would have the public believe.
Unless something changed since CIS made its observations, this means far more than 360,000 will be admitted through the ports of entry each year.
Until the U.S. media or Congress finds out how the administration is tallying these humanitarian parolees and pries that number loose, the totality of the ongoing Biden border crisis damage will disappear from view.
Behind the scenes, the administration will continue to admit into the country almost all of those hundreds of thousands it will brag about having removed from the illegal crossing rolls. The only real change is that overhead news drones can’t see the true number of entrances, and the American people can’t really count them.
The great mass migration crisis that President Joe Biden spawned on inauguration day 2021 will continue in even greater numbers that smash even more national immigration records, but without the visibility that Americans need to see through the propaganda.
Todd Bensman is author of the forthcoming book Overrun: How Joe Biden Unleashed the Greatest Border Crisis in U.S. History.