The Biden administration is ignoring its own limits on asylum seekers, allowing more to enter the United States than it said it would, internal Department of Homeland Security data obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.
Customs and Border Protection waived through 45,662 migrants with the CBP One mobile application in the month of July, an average of 1,473 a day. Customs and Border Protection dramatically expanded the app’s parameters in May after the end of the public health measure Title 42—which gave immigration authorities power to promptly deport migrants—but limited the amount of daily appointments to 1,000 a day. The number of daily appointments was later expanded to 1,250 and then 1,450 at the end of June. But the data from the Department of Homeland Security show immigration officials are not honoring that limit either.
The figures raise serious questions about President Joe Biden's proposals to fix the border crisis, which is the worst in the nation's history. The United States saw more than 2.76 million illegal border crossings in the 2022 fiscal year alone, compared with the Trump administration's annual high of roughly 1.6 million. Although the average daily surplus in CBP One appointments is roughly 23 migrants, that translates to nearly 8,400 annually at a time when cities are struggling to house and feed a surge of new arrivals. New York City, for example, entered into a $275 million contract with hotels to shelter just 5,000 migrants and its mayor Eric Adams (D.) says its city has "no space" left.
Customs and Border Protection did not respond to a request for comment.
The CBP One app allows migrants to apply for asylum remotely on their phone as a way to streamline the asylum process and bring order to the southern border. Republicans such as Rep. Clay Higgins (La.) have criticized CBP One as part of a "shell game" that merely reclassifies would-be illegal border crossers and releases them into the U.S. interior.
But Biden in January touted the CBP One app as part of a "new process" that "is orderly … safe … and humane. And it works." Those who are not approved on the app, Biden said, would be immediately deported.
"And let me say it again: The actions we’re announcing today will make things better—will make things better but will not fix the border problem completely," Biden said.
The news of the nearly 46,000 CBP One admissions comes as the southern border saw a 50 percent increase in illegal crossings in July compared with June, according to the Washington Post. Law enforcement arrested more than 130,000 illegal aliens along the Mexico border last month, the paper reported, a period that traditionally sees a dip in crossings given the extreme heat.
"The short term effects of the many legal pathways Biden has pushed to curb illegal immigration are failing," one senior Department of Homeland Security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Washington Free Beacon. "One can only wonder what changes are coming to bring more would-be illegal aliens in legally. The slippery slope ends at open borders."
The Biden administration initially took a victory lap after a brief decrease in southern border crossings at the end of Title 42, crediting its CBP One app. In a statement to the Washington Post, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection blamed the subsequent increase in illegal border crossings on "disinformation" from smugglers who are continuing to lure migrants across the border with the promise that they will not be deported.
Both Republican-led states and immigration activists have filed lawsuits against the Biden administration’s recent immigration policies. Those lawsuits could spell doom for the CBP One app. Republicans allege it is an illegal power grab, while liberal groups have said the penalties for migrants who are denied on the app are too harsh.
A federal judge in California struck down many of the regulations governing CBP One app in July. The Department of Justice said it would appeal the ruling.