US Border Officials Report Record Number of Illegal Immigrant Arrests in November

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
December 24, 2022Border Security
US Border Officials Report Record Number of Illegal Immigrant Arrests in November
Illegal immigrants line up to present themselves to U.S. Border Patrol agents after spending the night camped alongside the U.S.–Mexico border fence in El Paso, Texas on Dec. 22, 2022. (John Moore/Getty Images)

U.S. border agents apprehended a record number of illegal immigrants at the border with Mexico in November, officials announced on Dec. 23, continuing a trend that started almost immediately after President Joe Biden took office.

Agents logged 233,740 apprehensions, arresting 204,155—easily smashing previous records for both categories. Some illegal immigrants were apprehended multiple times after crossing into the United States.

Apprehensions began spiking in early 2021, after Biden was sworn in, and have not slowed down since. Under Biden, the United States has already set new records for apprehensions in a calendar year and a fiscal year. And in the first two months of fiscal year 2023, which includes November, the numbers are higher than ever.

Troy Miller, acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—in place after Biden ousted former Commissioner Chris Magnus—said in a statement that the new figures show the agency is working hard.

“This month’s operational update reflects CBP’s dedicated workforce diligently enforcing our laws concerning immigration while seizing fentanyl and other contraband, ensuring America’s economic security, and facilitating travel and trade,” Miller said.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Officials have claimed the border is closed, despite the record number of apprehensions.

And the official numbers do not include illegal immigrants who evaded authorities, known internally as “gotaways.” Previous reports, obtained by The Epoch Times, show thousands of illegal aliens evade capture each month.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) noted the new numbers, saying in a statement that the administration “wants to bury the story of our worsening border crisis with this Friday night news dump, right before Christmas.”

The number of illegal immigrant apprehensions was “more than three times the population of Dubuque,” Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) said. “This is appalling on so many levels, will only get worse without Title 42, & is exactly why the omnibus bill should have prioritized border security.” She called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign.

Title 42 in Limbo

A public health order called Title 42 enables agents to quickly expel some illegal immigrants because they may carry COVID-19 amid the pandemic.

A U.S. judge—U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, a Clinton appointee—ruled the order was unconstitutional but paused the order to give the administration time to prepare for dealing with illegal immigration without the powers it bestows. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, temporarily stayed the end of the order on Dec. 19 until just after Christmas as the court considers arguments for and against the lower court ruling.

Some lawmakers fought to include a provision that would keep Title 42 in place in the omnibus package, but that amendment was among those rejected in the Senate.

Illegal crossings will explode if Title 42 does end, Rep. Henry Cueller (D-Texas) told The Epoch Times this week.

“I’ve been told there are now estimates of over 50,000 people in Mexico waiting to come across and that number can increase,” he said.

In November, agents utilized Title 42 to carry out 65,125 expulsions. Far more apprehensions were processed under Title 8, or federal immigration law. Some of those processed under Title 8 are expelled, but many more are processed into the U.S. interior by the Biden administration, which has dramatically scaled back immigration enforcement. Illegal immigrants are often allowed to stay if they claim asylum, even though most asylum claims are ultimately rejected.

Changing Demographic

Many illegal immigrants have historically hailed from Mexico, but an increasing number of those caught near the border come from other countries.

In November 2021, 53 percent of the people apprehended were from Mexico or northern Central America. That was down to 30 percent a year later.

The numbers of apprehended illegal aliens from Cuba and Nicaragua, meanwhile, continued to spike and made up 35 percent of the unique encounters in November.

Officials also logged a decrease in Venezuelan nationals, following the administration’s announcement of a new pathway to legal status and a partnership with Mexico under which other Venezuelans would be expelled there.

In November, just 7,931 encounters with Venezuelans were recorded—down from 22,045 in October and from 33,804 in September.

From The Epoch Times

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