Growing Severity of Border Crisis Revealed in Judiciary Committee Report

Growing Severity of Border Crisis Revealed in Judiciary Committee Report

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Biden administration failed to remove around 99.7 percent of the 3.3 million illegal immigrants encountered, according to new data

A new House Judiciary Committee report, which incorporates data not previously publicly disclosed, sheds fresh light on the intensifying crisis at the southern border.

The new data reveals that the Biden administration, through immigration court removal proceedings, failed to remove around 99.7 percent of the 3.3 million illegal immigrants encountered and then released into U.S. communities.

“Three years into the Biden administration, the crisis at the southwest border is worse than ever,” reads the report’s executive summary. It notes that from the day President Joe Biden was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2021, until Sept. 30, 2023, there were nearly 6 million illegal immigrant encounters.

While this figure is not new, data newly obtained by the Committee shows that around half of these 6 million—roughly 3.1 million individuals—had no confirmed departure from the United States as of Sept. 30, 2023.

The report also notes that the true number of illegal immigrants with no confirmed departure from the country is certainly greater, however, because the 3.1 million does not include the estimated 1.7 million “gotaways,” nor does it include any releases from encounters between October and December of last year, which the Committee report estimates to be around 386,500.

The report cites 3.3 million as the number of illegal immigrants released into the United States since Jan. 20, 2021.

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A group of more than 1,000 illegal immigrants wait in line near a U.S. Border Patrol field processing center after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico, in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Dec. 18, 2023. (John Moore/Getty Images)
A group of more than 1,000 illegal immigrants wait in line near a U.S. Border Patrol field processing center after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico, in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Dec. 18, 2023. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Illegal Immigrants With Criminal Charges or Convictions

The Committee report also notes that there are at least 617,607 illegal immigrants on Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) non-detained docket who have pending criminal charges or criminal convictions.

“That means that more than half a million criminal aliens are in U.S. communities, free to reoffend and victimize more Americans,” the committee wrote in the report, noting that the Biden administration removed nearly 60 percent fewer illegal immigrants with criminal convictions and criminal charges in 2023 compared to 2019.

Other new data cited in the report relates to the number of illegal immigrants placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge and subsequently deported. Between Jan. 20, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2023, the Biden administration removed 10,522 such individuals, meaning that it failed to remove, through immigration court removal proceedings, roughly 99.7 percent of those illegal immigrants.

The report also estimates that, under the Biden administration, there has been just one removal for every 26 illegal entries.

ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) team arrests an illegal immigrant in Los Angeles in a photo released on Dec. 21, 2023. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) team arrests an illegal immigrant in Los Angeles in a photo released on Dec. 21, 2023. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

‘Chaos Reigns’

The GOP-led committee, like Republican lawmakers more broadly, blamed the Biden administration’s “radical open-border immigration policies” for the stark figures.

“Far from disincentivizing the flood of illegal immigration by detaining and removing illegal aliens, President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Alejandro Mayorkas continue to release illegal aliens into U.S. communities en masse,” the committee states in the report.

“As these new data show, chaos reigns at the southwest border with record-high illegal alien encounters and releases,” the report states in concluding remarks. “It is beyond time for Democrats in the Senate and the administration to act aggressively to end the Biden border crisis.”

Mr. Mayorkas, who faces GOP-led impeachment hearings over his handling of the border crisis, said at the beginning of January that over 70 percent of illegal immigrants were being released into U.S. communities after an initial arrest and that the number released into the country since President Biden took office was “well more than a million a year,” which would square with the 3.3 million figure in the committee’s report.

The DHS chief has rebutted claims that his leadership was to blame for the flood of illegal immigrants into the country.

“Our immigration system is outdated and broken and has been in need of reform for literally decades. On this, everyone agrees,” he said at a Jan. 8 news conference in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee in Washington, on Nov. 8, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee in Washington, on Nov. 8, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Mr. Mayorkas also attributed the problem to a lack of funding from Congress, where Republicans and Democrats have been locked in negotiations over President Biden’s request for additional aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, which also includes funding for border security.

Republicans have insisted that any additional funding for the Ukraine war must include meaningful measures to bolster border security.

Democrats have said they welcome Republican efforts to enhance border security, but they insist it should be as part of a broader package of immigration reform. So far, however, efforts at immigration reform have faltered in Congress.

Meanwhile, on Jan. 17, Congressional leaders expressed optimism that a deal could be reached on the supplemental funding for Ukraine and border security, after a meeting with President Biden.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called it a “very good meeting.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) described the meeting as “productive,” adding that he delivered the same message he’s been pushing for months, namely that “we must have change at the border, substantive policy change.”

Republicans have been pushing for a restoration of the Trump-era Remain in Mexico policy, an end to the Biden administration’s “catch-and-release” tactics, and implementation of asylum and parole reforms.

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