Thanks in large part to the media’s decision to ignore the crisis at the U.S. border, 85% of Americans think the number of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border is lower — often far lower — than it is. One in every five Americans underestimates the number of illegal aliens pouring across the southern border by more than 90%.
In reality, nearly a million illegal immigrants crossed the U.S. border with Mexico in the first half of this year — a 20-year high of 180,034 in May alone, according to statistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protections. In all, a total of 929,868 illegal immigrants have entered the country year-to-date in 2021 — almost as many as the 977,509 illegals who entered during the entire year of 2019.
But the average American’s understanding of the problem isn’t even in the right ballpark. A recent Harvard/Harris poll found that 21% of Americans believe that “less than 10,000” illegal immigrants cross the United States a month. More than half of all Americans erroneously think the number is lower than 50,000 illegals a month, less than one-third of the real number.
In all, more than four in five Americans undercount the sheer size and proportion of the illegal immigrant population crossing the border every single month since Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris poll. Only 7% accurately report the average number of illegal border crossings is between 150,000 and 200,000 a month — perhaps because even seasoned border officials cannot believe it.
Border Agent John Anfinsen told the CBS affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth that he sees more than three times as many illegal crossings in the Del Rio area than in any normal year. “On a weekly basis we are somewhere between 6,000 to 7,000 in a week, where in years past, 2,000 would be a lot,” he said.
A separate YouGov poll found that Americans see the border in a crisis state, a word the administration has studiously avoided. Some of the respondents said that an open border creates a “drug smuggling crisis.” Customs and Border Patrol have seized 201,857 pounds of hard narcotics — cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine — this year. (The U.S. seized just over 250,000 pounds of those drugs in all of 2019.)
Others says illegal immigration creates a “criminal crisis.” In the last month alone, agents have arrested members of the MS-13 and Sureño gangs — as well as a previously deported rapist, a registered sex offender, a convicted child rapist, and multiple others convicted of sexual offenses.
Still others say an uncontrolled border represents a “national security crisis.” Between January and April, Border Patrol agents arrested two Yemeni nationals on the terror watch list who illegally crossed the El Centro section in California.
Despite the fact that the illegal immigration crisis at America’s southern border has grown to historic proportions under the Biden-Harris administration, the media have devoted 36% less coverage to immigration under Joe Biden than during the same period under Donald Trump; the largest reduction has come mostly from left- and center-leaning media outlets. CNN and MSNBC spent 20% as much time reporting on immigration/the southern border as Fox News. “Nearly all (46) of the top 50 stories about the situation at the border in [mid-March] have come from conservative media, according to data from NewsWhip,” reported Axios.
The Harvard CAPs/Harris poll presented a litany of bad news for the Biden administration:
- When asked who’s to blame, Americans say the fault rests squarely with the president and vice president. The poll found that 61% of Americans blame the immigration crisis on Joe Biden, twice as many as blame former President Donald Trump;
- Immigration is the third most important issue facing the country, ahead of healthcare, race relations, the environment, policing, and income inequality;
- 74% of Americans say illegal immigration at the border is a “crisis that needs to be addressed immediately”;
- The American people were split 50-50 on whether Biden really wanted to enforce more “humane” immigration laws or if he’s “creating an open border”;
- 68% of Americans think Joe Biden’s policies encourage illegal immigration;
- More than two-thirds of Americans (67%) oppose the “catch-and-release” policy, saying that illegal immigrants captured by law enforcement should be “turned back to Mexico” rather than “released into the U.S. with a court date”; and
- Once appraised of the proper number of illegal entries, 63% of Americans say the president should “[i]ssue new, stricter policies to reduce the flow of people across the border.”
The call for stricter border security and more stringent application of immigration laws, echoes the sentiments of those who know the border best: the Border Patrol.
“Any physical barrier that we put up will help,” Anfinsen told CBS. “Until we deal with things like businesses that employ people who are illegally present in the U.S., until we deal with an asylum system that is, frankly, being abused, there is no incentive for people to not come.”
And as long as the illegal immigration issue is bad for Biden/Harris and Pelosi/Schumer, there is no incentive for the legacy media to cover it.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.