News and Commentary

FULL-ON CRISIS: CBP Records Yet Another New Monthly Record In Apprehensions

Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released its apprehension data for the month of May. And the numbers are wild. Specifically, CBP recorded a 32% increase over the already-record-breaking April apprehension numbers.

CBP tweeted: “CBP continues to face a worsening crisis at the Southwest border. In May, CBP apprehended or deemed inadmissible 144,278 individuals along the SWB—a 32% increase over the previous month.”

CBP’s full data release today showcases the incredible trajectory of our border crisis. Solely looking at apprehensions recorded between points of entry, CBP recorded 132,887 in the month of May alone. That is double the number of apprehensions from just February, when CBP recorded 66,884 apprehensions. Going back to the beginning of the fiscal year in October 2018, CBP has recorded a staggering 160.52% increase in apprehensions recorded between points of entry in the first eight months of this fiscal year alone.

These are eye-opening numbers that ought to indicate the depth of the national crisis to every sober viewer relatively familiar with basic arithmetic.

Twitter reacted strongly to CBP’s astonishing revelation.

Nick Miroff — a Washington Post national security reporter specializing in immigration enforcement and drug trafficking who had previously found himself so flabbergasted by CBP’s February border numbers so as to describe them as “bonkers” — today tweeted: “‘We are in a full-blown emergency, and I cannot say this stronger: the system is broken,’ said acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders. CBP has detained more than 680,000 border-crossers in FY19, Sanders said, ‘more than the population of Miami.'”

Reporter David Nakamura, also from the Post, tweeted: “Just did the math: During the 2014 border crisis under Obama, CBP apprehended 137,000 families + children for the entire fiscal year. In the past *two months* alone, CBP has apprehended 164,000 of them.”

Jason Johnson, the Texas-based former chief strategist of the 2016 Ted Cruz presidential campaign, tweeted: “Arrests at southern border in May ALONE (144,000) roughly equal to population of Savannah, GA/Bridgeport, CT/Syracuse, NY/McAllen, TX/Mesquite, TX/Paterson, NJ/Midland,TX…. #BorderCrisis.”

Freshman congressman Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a consistent border hawk, bluntly tweeted: “I cannot imagine why we should conduct one more item of business on the Hill until we address this.”

Conservative commentator Daniel Horowitz noted that President Donald Trump could easily shut off large swaths of the migrant influx by unilaterally invoking 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f), tweeting: “The fact that CBP can announce border numbers like this and the president doesnt give an immediate speech announcing an 1182f shutoff sets the precedent that no matter the situation – the entire world could come – and he cannot shut it off. Stop talking about tariffs.”

The reality, as Ryan Girdusky has noted, is that President Trump has many options to exercise hitherto statutorily delegated authority, if he chose to invoke it:

CBP has used strongly worded language before in an attempt to convey to Americans the dire extent of the border situation. At the time of the release of CBP’s apprehension data for the month of March, CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert E. Perez referred to the onslaught as a “system-wide emergency.” “We are currently experiencing a system-wide emergency in our processing and holding facilities,” he said at the time.