One month ago, the New York Times claimed in a “fact check” there was “no emergency” at the southern border, but now the “paper of record” says the border is at a “breaking point.”
Breitbart News pointed out that the Times branded President Trump a liar when he said during his State of the Union address last month that there is an “urgent national crisis” at the border with Mexico.
“This is false,” the Times told its readers.
But now the paper reports the border is at a “breaking point,” with the number of migrant families crossing the southwest border having “once again broken records, with unauthorized entries nearly doubling what they were a year ago, suggesting that the Trump administration’s aggressive policies have not discouraged new migration to the United States.”
Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday that more than 76,000 migrants illegally crossed the border in February, an 11-year high.
Significantly, a record 40,325 family units arrived last month, eclipsing the previous record by nearly 10,000.
“The entire system right now is at full capacity. Actually, it’s overwhelmed,” said Manuel Padilla, a veteran Border Patrol agent who directs Joint Task Force-West in San Antonio, part of the Department of Homeland Security, according to NPR.
Agents are being assigned to areas that are not border-security related, Padilla said, such as providing food and medical care for the families and children in their custody.
CBP: ‘This situation is not sustainable’
From October through February, border agents arrested 136,150 people traveling in families at the southern border, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The figures exceeded the record for a full year. In the federal fiscal year that ended in September, 107,212 people were arrested traveling in families.
“This situation is not sustainable,” Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday. “The system is well beyond capacity and remains at the breaking point.”
The White House said the numbers “reflect an ever-worsening crisis on our southern border.”
McAleenan said the CBP is setting up a center near El Paso, Texas, to process families and children, the Journal reported.
Why illegal immigration is worse than ever
Conservative Review Editor Daniel Horowitz observed that if Trump had not given in to Democrats on his request for $5.7 billion in border security funding, the newly released figures would have strengthened his leverage.
“Unless we force a national discussion over the courts and the illegal immigration magnets that are bringing immigrants in, this entire debate is a non-sequitur,” Horowitz wrote. “Unfortunately, without a budget deadline for another seven months, no matter how bad things get at our border, there is no mechanism through which to pressure Democrats into submission.”
Mark Morgan, former Border Patrol chief under Obama, explained to Conservative Review why today’s migration is worse than ever.
“When anyone opines that the apprehension numbers are at a historic low to support the claim that there is no crisis along our southwest border, they are leaving out a critical factor — the demographics of those illegally entering our country,” he said.
Morgan noted that in the early 2000s, when apprehensions were around 1 million, the overwhelming majority were Mexican adults, who were quickly processed and deported.
But now, the family units and unaccompanied minors seeking asylum account for more than 60 percent of those being apprehended.
“The essential difference is they are not removed,” he said. “Through our country’s broken asylum laws and bad judicial precedent, this new demographic of illegal aliens are caught and released into cities throughout the country.”
He pointed out that even though last year the apprehensions dropped to 400,000, the number of illegal aliens allowed into the United States has actually increased from a decade ago.
Based on last month’s figures, Princeton Policy Advisors researcher Steven Kopits estimates that there will be about 775,000 illegal border crossings this year, Breitbart News reported.
That would be a level not seen since the George W. Bush administration.