Mark Morgan, Heritage visiting fellow and former acting Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) commissioner, released a statement Friday night in response to new border numbers finally made public by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The numbers for the month of September showed a staggering 227,547 encounters, another historic record.
This brought total CBP encounters this fiscal year to more than 2.7 million, shattering the all-time record, which was also set by the Biden administration just last year. In addition, CBP recorded more than 600,000 known got-aways since last October, bringing the total number of known got-aways under Biden and DHS Secretary Mayorkas to more than 1 million. CBP also recorded 98 apprehensions of aliens on the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database, dwarfing total such encounters from the previous 5 years combined.
DHS dumped the numbers Friday evening after Morgan, former acting ICE Director Tom Homan, and former acting DHS deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli threatened to release them if DHS officials did not do so by Tuesday.
Morgan: “Last year was a catastrophically terrible year for border security, and consequently, for the American people. The last 12 months have been orders of magnitude worse. The primary responsibility of the federal government is to protect Americans and our interests. The Biden administration—from Joe Biden, to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, to CBP Chief Chris Magnus—have knowingly, willfully, and consistently violated that responsibility. It has long been clear that our borders are open—now these numbers should erase any remaining doubt. We have simply never seen these numbers before in our history, and the Biden open-borders policies are the reason.
“These policies have deadly consequences for everyone involved, American citizens and the migrants themselves. Illegal immigration makes our border less secure, and as more Border Patrol agents are pulled off the lines to process record numbers of illegal aliens, the cartels are taking advantage. Ninety-five percent of the fentanyl flowing into our country comes across our southwest border, and the drug is now the leading cause of death for Americans 18-45. Illegal aliens continue to be arrested for committing crimes in our communities. And gang members, violent criminals, sexual predators, and known or suspected terrorists are slipping across our border in droves, with Border Patrol never even having a chance to catch them. Those people are now in your community.
“As bad as it has gotten, things will only get worse, and I fear what major catastrophe could come next. But make no mistake—responsibility for what has happened, and what will happen, lies squarely with this administration.”