The year 2023 has seen an unprecedented surge in illegal border encounters, making it the worst year on record, according to a report from the House Committee on Homeland Security. The report reveals that nationwide, there were a staggering 3.2 million encounters, marking a significant increase from previous years. The Southwest border alone saw a 40% increase in encounters compared to 2021, and a more than 100% increase compared to 2019. In fiscal year 2023, a total of 2.47 million illegal immigrant encounters occurred at the southern border.
Shockingly, there were an additional 189,402 illegal immigrant encounters at the northern border during 2023, signifying a significant increase from the previous year and a substantial jump from 2021. The committee’s factsheet attributes this surge to the open-borders policies of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Joe Biden.
The report points out that the 3.2 million figure does not include the 1.7 million known illegal immigrant gotaways who have entered the country since fiscal year 2021. The surge shows no sign of subsiding, with data from September indicating drastic increases in encounters compared to previous years. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported a 40% increase in encounters compared to September 2021 and an 18% increase compared to September 2022.
The report also highlights the national security threat posed by mass illegal immigration, noting that individuals on the terrorist watchlist have been attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. In fiscal year 2023, 169 such individuals were stopped, marking a 72% increase from the previous year. Furthermore, Customs and Border Patrol has arrested thousands of individuals with criminal convictions or outstanding warrants, including known gang members. They have also seized significant amounts of fentanyl, with estimates suggesting that only a fraction of illegal drugs are intercepted at the border.
The report criticizes the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis, arguing that Border Patrol agents are being diverted from the front lines to process and release the influx of illegal aliens. The administration’s mass-parole programs are seen as incentivizing and facilitating the entry of otherwise inadmissible individuals into the United States at an unprecedented scale.
This wave of illegal immigration could have electoral consequences for the Democrats, as a CBS News poll reveals that a substantial majority of voters, 66%, disapprove of President Biden’s handling of immigration, while only 34% approve. The report underscores the need for a comprehensive approach to border security and immigration policy to address the ongoing crisis.