The number of those apprehended crossing the southern border illegally during fiscal year 2021 that ends today exceeds the population of 11 American states.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, so far there have been over 1.5 million encounters of people crossing the southwest border through August.
That number will go up by 200,000 or more when September’s encounters are included, if recent trends continue.
The current tally already exceeds the total populations of 11 states, according to 2019 figures, including Hawaii (population: about 1,416,000), New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming (population: about 579,000).
By comparison, there were just 458,000 encounters in 2020.
Last week, 26 Republican governors — including border governors Doug Ducey of Arizona and Greg Abbott of Texas — sent an urgent letter to President Joe Biden seeking a meeting to discuss the border crisis within 15 days.
“As chief executives of our states, we request a meeting with you at The White House to bring an end to the national security crisis created by eight months of unenforced borders,” they wrote.
“The months-long surge in illegal crossings has instigated an international humanitarian crisis, spurred a spike in international criminal activity, and opened the floodgates to human traffickers and drug smugglers endangering public health and safety in our states. A crisis that began at our southern border now extends beyond to every state and requires immediate action before the situation worsens,” the governors added.
“More fentanyl has been seized this fiscal year than the last three years combined—almost 10,500 pounds of fentanyl when only 2 milligrams prove fatal. This is enough to kill seven times the U.S. population,” they further noted.
The governors argued they are doing what they can to mitigate the situation, but that in the end, it is a federal issue.
‘[O]ur Constitution requires that the President must faithfully execute the immigration laws passed by Congress,” they wrote. “Not only has the federal government created a crisis, it has left our states to deal with challenges that only the federal government has a duty to solve.”
“There are a lot of Republicans out there giving speeches about how outraged they are about the situation at the border,” she said at Friday’s news briefing, according to a White House transcript. “Not many who are putting forward solutions or steps that we could take. So we’re a little tired of the speeches,” she said.
On Biden’s first day in office, he suspended construction of the border wall and ended former President Donald Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy for those seeking asylum in the United States, which Republicans have argued triggered the 21-year high surge in border crossings.
In a Newsmax interview this week, James Carafano, a national security expert with the Heritage Foundation who rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel during a 25-year Army career, argued that what happened in Del Rio, Texas, this month with a massing of migrants on the border, has now become part of the playbook for illegal entry into the U.S.
“They’ll just throw a camp up on the border, put thousands of people there and then the Biden team will be so anxious to get it off of the news cycle, they’ll just take those people and ship them right into the interior,” Carafano said.
“Look, we’re going to wind up with not millions, but if we keep this up, ten of millions of people coming in,” he predicted.
Carafano argued that the Biden administration really wants open borders, despite anything officials might say to the contrary.
“They’d like to hide that fact as much as possible from the American people, but at the end of the day, when the open-borders people say, ‘Do this,’ they jump,” he said.
The former West Point professor contended that having an open border, in addition to the unsustainable flow of migrants into the U.S., imperils national security.
“The other key thing is, we have a wide open border. It’s more wide open than it was on 9/11,” he said near the end of the interview, pointing out that the terrorist group al Qaida is reconstituting in Afghanistan and looking to hit the U.S. again.
“So it’s all fun and games, my friends,” Carafano said. “It’s all a big laugh until more people die than died on 9/11, and that’s going to happen, if we don’t do something.”