CBP Says 25 Percent Decline in Illegal Immigrants Since Asylum Restriction Order

CBP Says 25 Percent Decline in Illegal Immigrants Since Asylum Restriction Order
Large groups of illegal aliens were apprehended by Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents near Yuma, Ariz., on June 4, 2019. (Jerry Glaser/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have reported a 25 percent reduction in apprehensions of illegal immigrants between ports of entry along the U.S.–Mexico border in the two weeks since the Biden administration imposed a cap on asylum eligibility.

President Joe Biden issued a proclamation on June 4 in which the restriction comes into effect whenever encounters with unlawful border crossers exceed an average of 2,500 per day over seven consecutive days. Above that and CBP agents can’t “deliver timely consequences.”

“This ban will remain in place until the number of people trying to enter illegally is reduced to a level that our system can effectively manage,” President Biden said at a news conference when announcing the measure.

The Department of Homeland Security and Attorney General Merrick Garland jointly issued an interim final rule restricting asylum eligibility and increasing the consequences for some illegal border crossers.

In its latest monthly report, the CBP cautioned that “migration flows are dynamic” and agents are prepared to deploy as the situation changes.

“Our enforcement efforts are continuing to reduce southwest border encounters,” CBP Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller said in a statement on June 20.

“The dedicated men and women of CBP will continue to prioritize national security and disrupt criminal networks, while maximizing consequences for unlawful entry, including detention, prosecution, and removal under recently announced executive actions to further secure the border,” he said.

According to preliminary data, the new restrictions on asylum eligibility have resulted in a decrease in daily encounters between border agents and illegal immigrants. That said, CBP officials advocated for more resources to enforce immigration law, safeguard national security, and disrupt criminal networks.

“In close coordination with U.S. and foreign partners, CBP continues to take strong enforcement efforts against transnational criminal organizations at our borders and beyond,” Mr. Miller said.

“But the fact remains that our immigration system is not resourced for what we are seeing,” he said.

The last several years have seen a historic surge in illegal immigration.

Border Patrol agents have apprehended nearly 1.3 million illegal immigrants nationwide in the first eight months of the fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1, 2023. An additional 929,000 inadmissible individuals were stopped at ports of entry, for a total of 2.2 million.

During the same period last year, the number of illegal immigrants totaled 2.1 million, including illegal border crossers and inadmissibles, CBP data show.

Meanwhile, a new report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General identified shortcomings in the department’s enforcement of immigration laws.

In a specific instance, hundreds of illegal immigrants at a U.S. international airport were released due to insufficient bed space or funds, with 44 percent not returning for removal flights.

The report said that CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lacked coordination, leading to 77 of 168 released illegal immigrants not receiving court appearance notices. ICE also failed to conduct risk assessments consistently, leading to the release of individuals deemed high-risk.

The DHS agreed with the recommendations made in the report to improve processes and coordination.

At the same time, Texas has reported a 74 percent decrease in illegal crossings into the state from Mexico since Gov. Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in 2021.

The operation has included the deployment of floating barriers, the installation of wire fencing, and the use of the Texas National Guard. Since the launch of the operation, 514,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended, including more than 44,000 criminal arrests, and nearly half a billion lethal doses of fentanyl, the governor’s officer said.

Lorenz Duchamps and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times