Immigration authorities are reporting the highest-ever daily number of migrants entering the United States along the southwest border, according to internal Department of Homeland Security communications reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
Border Patrol officers are logging roughly 8,000 migrant encounters a day, the highest daily number in U.S. history, the communications show. Such a massive surge in migrants has left agencies such as Customs and Border Protection scrambling to implement new processing systems.
The record number of migrant encounters highlights the little progress the Biden administration has made in solving the border crisis. The news comes as the White House blamed former president Donald Trump for the crisis earlier this week, accusing the previous administration of leaving President Joe Biden with a “broken” immigration system. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the president and claimed the Biden administration is taking “unprecedented action” at the southern border. Those actions, according to the White House, include new border technology and anti-smuggling task forces.
But the results of those actions are unclear. A spokeswoman for CBP did not dispute the migrant encounter numbers. In a statement to the Free Beacon, the spokeswoman said that “the traffic we are seeing this year is similar to the pattern we saw at this time last year.” Border Patrol logged an average of roughly 7,700 migrant encounters a day nationwide last September, previously the highest number ever recorded.
Monthly migrant encounters, according to public CBP data, are already higher in the 2022 fiscal year than in any previous year. Border Patrol typically sees an uptick in migrant encounters during the fall and winter because of favorable weather conditions.
“Either the Biden administration is uninformed or they’re lying,” a senior DHS official told the Free Beacon. “We cannot process the numbers flooding our borders and the administration’s solution is scrambling for ways to let people in faster.”
Immigration authorities have already logged two million border encounters this fiscal year, a record high. The previous record holder was the 2021 fiscal year, which saw just under two million migrant encounters.
Vice President Kamala Harris claimed the “border is secure” earlier this month, prompting outrage from both Republicans and Democrats. Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) called Harris “dead wrong.”
“For … the vice president, or anybody [to] say our borders are secured, that is not accurate. I’ve been there,” Manchin told Fox News. “It’s wrong.”
Texas governor Greg Abbott (R.) has for months been busing migrants to Democrat-run cities, such as Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. Mayors in those cities have attacked the move as “inhumane” and asked the federal government for aid.
Critics of the Biden administration point to policy changes that are responsible for the crisis. Among those include DHS termination of the Migrant Protection Protocols program, which forced asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until their asylum court date. That program, proponents argue, discouraged potential migrants from entering the United States.
Other policies include a shift away from prioritizing the deportation of illegal immigrants. The Free Beacon last year reported on deportations plummeting by 90 percent under the Biden administration, meaning fewer illegal immigrants are now removed from the country than at any point in decades.
Americans regularly rank the border crisis as a top issue of concern, polling shows. An August survey from NPR found a majority of Americans believe the United States is facing an “invasion” on the southern border.