Thus reports Axios’ Stef Kight, after seeing internal data from Customs and Border Protection. Not only has the crisis not abated at the southern border, it has grown in both scope and depth even while the media seemingly lost interest in it over the last few weeks. Border officials are now detaining illegal immigrants from countries far into South America at record rates, showing the wave has expanded:
The number of migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year is already the most since 2006 — with four months left to go, according to preliminary Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data obtained by Axios.
Why it matters: The numbers quantify a lingering problem. Nearly 900,000 migrants were stopped by the Border Patrol from Oct. 1 to May 31. There also were more than 170,000 apprehensions last month — in line with 20-year records set in March and April.
In addition, there continue to be significant numbers of migrants from more distant nations such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Haiti, the data show.
The reporting period dates back into the Trump administration, of course, and the surge began before Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took office. However, even that comes as a result of Biden’s rhetoric on the campaign trail and while transitioning into office. Biden and Harris promised to “welcome” migrants and reunite families in America, doing everything except roll out a red carpet on the Rio Grande. Guatemala president Alejandro Giammattei publicly lashed Harris and Biden this weekend on that point, which I covered in my previous post.
The problem goes well beyond Guatemala, clearly. It’s equally clear why CPB sources wanted to share this data with Axios. They have been put into the position of being the Border Welcoming Committee rather than the Border Patrol. The media attention to this crisis keeps waning rather than waxing, even with Harris’ fumbled diplomacy this week. This White House keeps trying to hide the crisis by redefining metrics to falsely suggest progress, while staying far away from the border itself in order to keep from drawing more attention to their failure.
Harris is particularly desperate to deflect on that point, as this clip with Lester Holt shows:
.@LesterHoltNBC pushes Harris on the border including why she hasn’t visited.
Harris: “We’ve been the border.”
Holt: “YOU haven’t been to the border.”
Harris: “…..and I haven’t been to Europe. I don’t understand the point you’re making.”
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) June 8, 2021
It’s rare to see anyone of Harris’ high profile set up a perjury trap on herself and then fall into it. As for her Europe deflection … when did Biden make Harris his Europe czar? Did we miss that memo?
Allahpundit wondered why she doesn’t just make a stop at the border to get rid of this easy shot. Neither she nor Biden can afford to give the border a higher profile, of course, which is what a visit would do. It would amplify the failure by dragging tons of reporters down to the border, or it would create all sorts of problems if/when they restrict media access to official facilities during such a visit. That’s the last thing Biden or Harris want or need, especially with the media losing interest in the border crisis of late.
In the meantime, CBP will keep trying to get the story out. Kudos to Axios for remaining interested in the issue. Hopefully that will stoke some renewed interest in the Biden administration’s bungling of it.