Premieres 12/1 at 8pm ET
Watch exclusively on DailyWire+
Reported immigration numbers suggesting that illegal immigration at the U.S. southern border plummeted to the lowest level in over two years in June are misleading, according to a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official.
Border Patrol agents recorded roughly 100,000 apprehensions of illegal immigrants between ports of entry along the U.S. southern border during the month of June, CBS News reported this week. That total is a steep drop from the roughly 169,000 apprehensions recorded the month prior in May.
That drop-off is largely due to lax parole policies that encourage immigrants to walk through ports of entry, rather than between the ports, according to Lora Ries, director of the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation. The number also does not take into account known and unknown gotaways that get past border security into the interior of the U.S. without arrest.
The reported numbers “are deceitful. The number of illegal and inadmissible aliens coming into the country is still just as high, but the administration is using a shell game and sending people through ports of entry instead of between ports of entry, and then declaring that an improvement on the border,” Ries, a former acting deputy chief of staff at DHS, told The Daily Wire.
“We know the numbers are about the same because when you look at nationwide CBP encounters, which includes numbers at the ports of entry, that number has steadily risen,” she said.
The numbers reported by CBS News are preliminary and have not yet been officially released to the public. Current numbers available on the DHS website show the number of immigrants processed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations, which handles processing of migrants at ports of entry, has steadily risen over the course of Biden’s term.
The preliminary Border Patrol numbers reported by CBS News do not include immigrants that appear at the ports of entry and are processed through the Office of Field Operations.
The Biden administration has touted the use of stiffer immigration rules as well as parole programs that accept tens of thousands of immigrants from certain countries to ease approval to enter the United States. That various parole pathways are the main drivers of the change in the Biden administration’s counting of illegal immigration, according to Ries.
The port parole programs have been steadily accepting more immigrants, driving immigrants to ports of entry rather than attempting to cross between ports.
“They’ve been increasing the daily number of appointments CBP takes at the ports,” Ries said. “They’re about to increase it again. And when you do the math of those programs and add those back to the numbers of people crossing between the courts, you’re still at around 200,000 encounters a month, and that’s the number that the administration simply doesn’t want out there.”