It’s growing increasingly difficult for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to continue pretending that everything is just fine on the southern border and if there’s anything wrong it must be the fault of Orange Man Bad. The latest sign of trouble brewing in paradise came this week when the Associated Press broke open the vault and dug into the massive number of illegal aliens crossing over the border from Mexico. But instead of focusing on the families and unaccompanied children and the White House’s efforts to find homes for them all, the AP points out that there’s also been a steep rise in single adults – primarily males – coming over. And for those who are caught, they face immediate expulsion under a policy that was originally put in place by (wait for it…) Donald Trump.
But while asylum-seeking families and children dominate public attention, single adults represent a growing number of border encounters, nearly two of every three in April. They are less likely to surrender to authorities than families and children, making them less visible.
The Border Patrol’s 173,460 total encounters in April were up 3% from March, marking the highest level since April 2000. The numbers, released Tuesday, are not directly comparable because most of those stopped were quickly expelled from the country under federal pandemic-related powers that deny rights to seek asylum. Being expelled carries no legal consequences, so many people try to cross multiple times.
Single adults — more than half of them from Mexico — drove the increased activity. The Border Patrol had 108,301 such encounters in April, up 12% from March. Nearly nine of 10 adult encounters ended in expulsions under pandemic-related authority that began under former President Donald Trump and continued under Biden.
John already wrote about the record-breaking numbers of migrants that have been intercepted by Border Patrol agents and the unknown number of additional ones who make it through without being detected. In just the months of March and April there were well over a quarter-million crossings that we know of. And 90% of the single males who were apprehended were sent back to Mexico without a court hearing, precisely as was done under the Trump administration’s rules. I guess actually having to run the circus is a bit harder than criticizing it from the cheap seats, eh President Biden?
Public perceptions of the situation on the southern border have been changing as well. As much as most of the cable news networks love to tout Biden’s approval numbers and how he’s riding considerably higher than Donald Trump ever did, people’s feelings about the mess on the Mexican border are already starting to drag the new president’s numbers south. This week Scott Rasmussen released a new poll with more bad news for the White House. A significant majority of voters now believe that the Mexican drug cartels have more control over our border than we do.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters believe that drug cartels have more control of the Southern border than the U.S. government. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that just 20% disagree and 22% are not sure.
Most Republicans (78%) and Independents (53%) believe the cartels control the border. Democrats are more divided on the question. Forty-three percent (43%) agree that the cartels have more control than the U.S. government while 32% disagree.
On top of those figures, 52% believe that Joe Biden is “making it too easy for illegal immigrants to enter the nation.” Only 28% disagreed, so Biden doesn’t even have all of the Democrats on his side on this one.
But something has to be done soon. One former Border Patrol chief from the Obama era told the AP that agents are currently spending 40% less time on patrol because they are tied up with processing, serving meals and taking care of all the unaccompanied children. He went on to say, “The line is very thin right now, and the cartels exploit that.”
Yes, the line is very thin and both the coyotes and the drug-runners know it. The border is open for business and business is booming. Sadly, it’s exactly the sort of business we don’t need.