Customs, Border and Immigration News

Trump And Biden Head To A Border That’s Virtually Unrecognizable From Just A Few Years Ago

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will travel on Thursday to the southern border, which has seen a dramatic increase in illegal immigration in recent years.

Biden will visit Brownsville, Texas, and Trump will travel to Eagle Pass, Texas, to address the ongoing immigration crisis. Illegal immigration has increased exponentially in the roughly three years since Biden took office as millions of migrants from around the world pour across the southern border.

Border Patrol made 400,651 migrant apprehensions at the southern border in fiscal year 2020, which was the final leg of Trump’s time in office, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. There were 851,508 similar apprehensions in fiscal year 2019, 396,579 in fiscal year 2018 and 303,916 in fiscal year 2017.

Under Biden, there were over 2 million migrant encounters in fiscal 2023, alone, up from roughly 1.6 million in fiscal year 2021.

Border Patrol recorded 11 Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS) encounters at the southern border from fiscal year 2017 through fiscal year 2020, according to federal data. There were 98 TSDS migrant encounters in fiscal 2022, 169 in fiscal year 2023 and 58 in fiscal year 2024 to date.

Border Patrol recorded over 20,000 migrant encounters at the southern border who were deemed potential national security risks in fiscal year 2023, according to an exclusive memo previously obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The agency made more than 25,000 similar encounters in fiscal year 2022 and just over 3,600 in fiscal year 2021.

The number of Chinese nationals illegally crossing the border skyrocketed over the last year. Border Patrol had 24,048 Chinese migrant encounters at the southern border in fiscal year 2023, compared to 1,970 in fiscal year 2022 and just 323 in fiscal year 2021, according to CBP.

There have been over 18,000 similar encounters in the first four months of fiscal year 2024, the data shows.

It is estimated that at least 1.7 million “gotaway” migrants have crossed the southern border since Biden took office, according to the House Committee on Homeland Security.

“President Trump was very pro-law enforcement and military. He visited the border frequently and was genuine about his concern for national security and public safety,” Derek Maltz, former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Special Operations Division, told the DCNF. “President Biden is only visiting the border because the political pressure is on during the election season.”

“Biden has been very soft on illegal migrants coming into the country, and now we are inundated with migrants,” Maltz told the DCNF. He “has implemented policies that have created chaos and evil for all Americans.”

One of Biden’s first actions as president was to issue sweeping executive orders revoking Trump-era border policies, including the Muslim travel ban and the signature border wall project.

“The last President of the United States issued executive orders I felt were very counterproductive to our security, counterproductive to who we are as a country, particularly in the area of immigration,” Biden said during remarks in February 2021. “We’re going to work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration.”

Biden has repeatedly claimed that he is unable to take effective action to secure the southern border until Congress passes legislation to give him authority, but the president and his team are weighing executive options to strengthen asylum policies.

Biden claimed he was unaware that Trump had also planned his border visit on Thursday, according to The Associated Press. It will be the second time he has visited the border since he took office.

“I’ve been planning to go Thursday,” Biden said during a press briefing on Tuesday. “What I didn’t know is my good friend, apparently, is going.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Jake Smith

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Jake Smith

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