U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) apprehended a record number of migrants crossing the southwest border last month, breaking the previous monthly record set in December, according to new numbers out Saturday.
Federal border agents reported 269,735 apprehensions in September, bringing the total for fiscal year 2023 to more than 2.47 million. That number is up from nearly 2.38 million arrests in fiscal year 2022 and more than 1.73 million in 2021. Just more than 458,000 were documented in 2020, the final year of President Donald Trump’s administration. Border Patrol’s September numbers mark a more than 18 percent spike in apprehensions from September last year and a nearly 16 percent increase from this past August.
House Republican Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green of Texas characterized the latest numbers as evidence of the administration’s “refusal to enforce the law and secure our border.”
“This fiscal year may have ended, but the historic crisis at our Southwest border sparked by Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas’ policies rages on,” Green said in a statement. “CBP and the Border Patrol continue to be completely overwhelmed by the flood of illegal immigration that has not stopped since he and President Biden took office. We also can’t forget about the 1.7 million known gotaways, some of whom may be seeking to cause the same type of devastation we saw in Israel on October 7.”
The September numbers from CBP also broke the record for the number of migrants attempting to enter who are on the government’s terror watch list. According to CBP, 169 non-U.S. citizens whose information is logged in the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database were apprehended along the southern border. A whopping 564 potential terrorists were recorded at ports of entry in fiscal year 2023, a record number over the last six years.
The influx of suspected terrorists comes as the Department of Homeland Security warned Americans this month about the potential for terrorist actors to “exploit the elevated flow and increasingly complex security environment to enter the United States.”
On Thursday, the State Department amplified the threat with a “worldwide caution alert” to U.S. citizens abroad over recent developments in the Middle East. An open border only brings these overseas threats to Americans’ doorsteps.
In the face of increased threats to the homeland, President Joe Biden proposed a $105 billion emergency “national security” package last week — but marked less than $14 billion of it for our own southern border. More than $61 billion in the proposal is allotted for Ukraine. Just more than $14 billion is set aside for Israel, with about $9 billion for humanitarian aid between Ukraine, Israel and Gaza and another $7 billion for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific.