News and Analysis

Biden’s Border Crisis: 15 States Have Smaller Populations Than Total Illegal Southern Border Crossings In 2023
02 March 2021, Mexico, San Ysidro: A group of migrants wearing T-shirts that read "Biden, please let us in" kneel and pray at the border crossing. The group gathered and marched up to the border post to petition the new U.S. administration for asylum. U.S. Border Patrol (CPB) agents conducted a heavier operation at the border crossing with the goal of preventing a stampede.
Credit: Photo: Stringer/dpa (Photo by Stringer/picture alliance via Getty Images.

Decrying the “open border” policies of the Biden administration has been a constant theme for Republicans during the last three years. Little changed in 2023 with the influx of illegal immigrants continuing strong as Border Patrol encountered roughly more people at the southern border than the population of the entire state of New Mexico.

According to official statistics from Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol had 2,240,056 encounters with foreign nationals from all other the world at the southern border in 2023. This includes official recorded encounters by CBP from January to November, and reported numbers for December.

Below is a breakdown of southern border encounters in 2023, according to CBP statistics.

MonthTotal Encounters

*December numbers based on a report from Fox News.

The total number of reported encounters is greater than the populations (on an individual level, not total) of 15 states including Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, Montana, Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, West Virginia, Idaho, Nebraska, and New Mexico. 

This includes roughly 31,458 individuals from China, 137,389 individuals from Colombia, 63,135 from Cuba, 106,635 from Ecuador, 59,693 from El Salvador, 225,998 from Guatemala, 69,095 from Haiti, 213,853 from Honduras, 41,134 from India, 671,128 from Mexico, 16,690 from Nicaragua, 55, 276 from Peru, 29,449 from Russia, 14,135 from Turkey, and 302,736 from Venezuela. 

In 2023, videos of massive caravans heading toward the U.S. continued to circulate showing that many still see the border as open even as the Biden administration worked to block state efforts to protect their own sovereignty. The year saw everything from the expiration of Title 42 to the release of hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals into the U.S. 

Below are the biggest trendlines in the continuing border crisis from the last year. 

Crossings Surge to Record Highs

The Biden administration set all kinds of records at the southern border in 2023 and none of them were good. Throughout the year, multiple records for monthly crossings were set leading up to December, when crossings reportedly hit an all time high at 276,000.

The December record was set with three days still left in the year, and marked a large uptick from November which itself was a monthly record.

“We are now at over 760,000 migrant encounters since October 1st, making the first quarter of fiscal year 2024 also the highest ever recorded. Thats a population size bigger than Seattle in just three months,” Fox News reporter Bill Melugin posted on X. “All records being blown out of the water under the Biden admin as the crisis gets worse — not better.”

Other records set included Chinese nationals crossing the southern border at the fastest pace ever, and a record 50,000 Venezuelans illegally crossing into the U.S. in September.

States Send National Guard to Border

To help with the crisis on the border, states from Tennessee to Arizona continued to send National Guard troops to the border. Arizona Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs ripped into Biden for his handling of the border earlier this month when announcing her plans to send the National Guard to the border.

“Yet again, the federal government is refusing to do its job to secure our border and keep our communities safe,” Hobbs said in a statement. “With this Executive Order, I am taking action where the federal government won’t.”

Illegal Immigrants Sent to Blue Cities

Another trend that continued into 2023 was red states sending illegal immigrants into blue cities like Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles, all places that have backed lax immigration policies.

Texas bussed and flew tens of thousands of illegal immigrants across the country to the Democrat cities, prompting them to grapple with the effects of Biden’s border policies.

In NYC, Mayor Eric Adams was forced to make budget cuts in the city’s Education Department in order to deal with the overflow of illegal immigrants into the Big Apple. Adams and fellow Democrat Mayor Brandon Johnson of Chicago have been sharply critical of the Biden administration and have demanded federal funding to deal with the crisis.

Colony Ridge Comes Under Scrutiny

Following Daily Wire reporting on Colony Ridge, a massive development north of Houston that’s become a magnet for illegal aliens, Biden’s DOJ announced a suit against the development alleging “bait-and-switch” sales and predatory financing practices.

A September investigation by The Daily Wire highlighted how the development’s marketing practices appear to be aimed at people who are in the U.S. illegally. The development sells inexpensive plots of land at sky-high interest rates, targeting buyers such as illegal immigrants who are ineligible to apply for traditional loans.

The report garnered responses from prominent Republicans like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and legacy outlets also reported on the story.

Americans Continue to Suffer Because of Illegal Immigration

Across the country, from Texas to New York, Americans continue to suffer from the impacts of illegal immigration. According to a report from House Republicans, illegal immigration costs American taxpayers up to $451 billion. Each taxpayer is on the hook for an average of $956 due to illegal immigration, the report said. This cost comes as inflation has remained high, especially in relation to consumer goods.

In November, dozens of seniors in New York, including a 94-year-old Army veteran named Frank Tammaro, were reportedly evicted from their senior center, which was then converted into a migrant shelter.

Foreign nationals have also been accused of horrific crimes across the country, including murder.

Earlier this month, an illegal immigrant was arrested in connection to the murder of a 16-year-old Texas high school cheerleader named Lizbeth Medina. Also in Texas, a 50-year-old illegal immigrant was arrested and charged after allegedly fatally shooting two sisters in the head in their Dallas-area home.

In Nashville, a twice deported illegal immigrant from Honduras was charged with murder after a man was found in a burned out vehicle. The man was  identified as a member of the “Sur 13” gang and affiliated with “Surenos Locos Criminales.”

A Haitian national was arrested in Ohio after allegedly crashing his minivan into a school bus last week, resulting in dozens injured and the death of an 11-year-old boy.

Title 42 Expires

One of the factors leading to the influx of illegal immigrants was the expiration of Title 42 in May. Title 42 was a Trump-era rule that allowed illegal immigrants to be turned away at the border based on COVID concerns.

In the week leading up to its expiration, swarms of illegal immigrants were seen crossing the Rio Grande into the U.S. Border agents apprehended more than 11,000 people who crossed the border illegally on one day leading up to the expiration, reportedly about double the amount seen in a typical day.

Biden Administration Tries to Block States from Protecting Borders

While the border crisis has been ongoing, the Biden administration has tried to thwart efforts by Texas to deter illegal immigration and crack down on people illegally entering the country.

In September, Biden’s Border Patrol cut razor wire that the state of Texas had placed alongside on the Rio Grande to stop illegal aliens from flooding into the country. Biden’s Department of Justice also sued Texas Governor Greg Abbott after he constructed a water barrier in the Rio Grande to deter illegal crossings.

The DOJ is also threatening to sue Texas over a new state law that makes it a crime to illegally enter the state, giving state officials more power to take steps to secure the border amid the ongoing crisis.

What’s next for the Border Crisis?

Multiple attempts to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have floundered in 2023, but House Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) said that he will bring articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in 2024.

House Republicans’ effort to impeach Mayorkas will likely be a large story going into 2024 and could be a factor to watch as Republicans try to control the House going into 2024.

There could also be a surge of crossings in November and December if Biden is defeated as Republican presidential candidates have pledged to secure the border and crack down on illegal immigration. Former President Donald Trump has promised to institute a large-scale deportation program if re-elected and has promised to finish securing the southern border.

There will also be continued fighting between Texas and the Biden administration as Texas attempts to fill in the gaps left by the Biden administration’s border policies.

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