OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
As a record-breaking horde of undocumented immigrants swarms the border, House Speaker Mike Johnson is criticizing the Biden administration for encouraging migration.
Johnson took offense when the Mexican government and the White House issued a joint statement on Thursday requesting amnesty for illegal immigrants. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spearheaded a team that met with Mexican government officials to craft the announcement.
In the announcement, Biden’s administration and Mexico’s government emphasized the importance of “orderly, humane, and regular migration” but did not provide any solutions to the problem of the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants that enter the United States’ southern border each month.
Since then, Johnson has said that Biden was irresponsible for endorsing illegal immigrants as a “vital part of the U.S. economy and society” in his pro-amnesty speech.
“At a time when America is experiencing the worst border crisis in our nation’s history, it is unconscionable to hear the Biden Administration’s announcement that Secretaries Mayorkas and Blinken discussed with the President of Mexico amnesty for illegal immigrants. The United States must focus on policies that deter — not attract — people attempting to come here illegally, and the smugglers who profit from the catastrophe at our border,” Johnson said.
Johnson continued: “This development further demonstrates the Administration has no real intention of solving the humanitarian disaster and immediate national security crisis their policies have created. President Biden needs to stop vacationing and take immediate steps to stop the flow of illegal immigration into our country. Our nation’s security and sovereignty depend upon it, and the American people demand it.”
At a time when America is experiencing the worst border crisis in our nation’s history, it is unconscionable to hear the Biden Administration’s announcement that Secretaries Mayorkas and Blinken discussed with the President of Mexico amnesty for illegal immigrants. The United… https://t.co/V6jExFVDoV
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) December 28, 2023
According to federal data, the number of illegal migrants encountered by the Border Patrol surpassed 2 million in fiscal year 2023 and 2.2 million in fiscal year 2022, indicating that illegal immigration at the southern border has reached record highs in recent years.
After more than 2,200 arrests in FY 2022 and about 2,300 in FY 2021, ICE made approximately 3,000 arrests for criminal offenses in FY 2023, according to the agency.
Based on internal government data obtained by CBS News, U.S. immigration officials are expected to process over 300,000 migrants in December, which is a record-breaking monthly high. This figure is likely to include an unprecedented number of families migrating with children.
An unprecedented surge in migrants has reached a critical point in the three-year-long crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. This crisis has put a strain on resources in both large and small U.S. communities, left countless migrants in uncertainty, and forced lawmakers to consider severely restricting asylum. Additionally, it has made President Biden’s reelection campaign much more vulnerable.
Under the appointment system put in place by the Biden administration, U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Mexican border are expected to apprehend a quarter of a million illegal immigrants this month, while their counterparts at official ports of entry are anticipated to process approximately 50,000 new arrivals.
According to monthly tallies going back to fiscal year 2000, the number of migrants processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection along the southern border in one month has never been higher.
When the government processed almost 270,000 migrants at and between southern border ports of entry in September, it was the previous monthly high.
According to preliminary statistics from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in the first 28 days of December, agents from the Border Patrol apprehended nearly 235,000 migrants who illegally crossed the southern border between ports of entry, with an average of about 8,400 apprehensions per day.
At the current rate of arrests, the Border Patrol will set a new monthly record with approximately 260,000 people apprehended.
Border Patrol is on pace to meet or exceed the 103,000 family member apprehensions it recorded in September, the current monthly high for this demographic, with nearly 96,000 migrant parents and children traveling together processed through Dec. 28, according to the data.
Due to the inherent dangers of detaining children and the practical and legal constraints on doing so, dealing with families presents special difficulties for federal officials.
Based on the data provided by the DHS, the first 28 days of December saw 127,000 adult migrants processing alone and nearly 12,000 children without an adult.
Arrivals from Venezuela, which had declined in the fall following the announcement by the Biden administration that it would carry out direct deportations to Venezuela, one of the countries hit hard by the economic crisis, contributed to the increase in illegal crossings in December.
According to internal data, the number of illegal immigrants from Venezuela processed by the Border Patrol increased from 23,000 in November to 50,000 in December.
We can’t use the final three days of December in our internal statistics. On Thursday, CBS News was the first to report that last month’s total illegal border crossings were at a record high.