Biden Administration Breaks Self-Imposed Migrant Cap for Second Consecutive Month

August's migrant pool included thousands of single men, internal Homeland Security data show

Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border (Getty Images)
September 8, 2023

The Biden administration in August blew past its self-imposed limits on the number of asylum seekers it would allow into the country, releasing a group dominated by single males into the nation’s interior, internal Department of Homeland Security data obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.

Customs and Border Protection processed 45,403 migrants through the CBP One mobile application in August, an average of roughly 1,465 migrants per day. The federal government in June capped the number of migrants who can apply through the app at 1,450 per day. August was the second month the Biden administration failed to honor its own limit on asylum seekers. The Free Beacon reported that CBP One processed an average of 1,473 migrants each day in July.

The data provided to the Free Beacon reveal another trend: More than half of the adults granted entry into the United States through CBP One were men. Of the 34,210 adults aged 18-79, nearly 20,330 were men compared with 13,882 women. Just 11,189 minors were admitted through the CBP One app in the month of August, which suggests the vast majority of men admitted through the program were single.

In order to be granted asylum seeker status, migrants must cite a credible fear of political persecution or violence. But single, male migrants often falsely claim to be seeking asylum in order to gain entry to the United States. In 2020, 71 percent of permanent asylum requests were denied by immigration courts.

New York, which has seen more than 100,000 asylum seekers arrive in the last year, has grappled with a string of high-profile crimes by male migrants. A Venezuelan man here on an asylum claim was arrested last month for raping a three-year-old child in a New York City-funded hotel room. And 41 people have been arrested at the Roosevelt Hotel, which was converted into a migrant shelter, since May.

Customs and Border Protection did not respond to a request for comment.

The Biden administration touted CBP One as a way to clear the backlog of asylum seekers swarming the southern border during the largest border surge in U.S. history. President Joe Biden in January praised the app, which allows migrants to apply for asylum remotely, as an integral part of a "new process" that "is orderly … safe … and humane."

The app has garnered criticism from the right. Rep. Clay Higgins (R., La.) called the program a "shell game" that arbitrarily reclassifies illegal immigrants so the Biden administration can say it is making progress on the southern border. Without the CBP One app, those critics say, all migrants enrolled in the program would normally be counted as illegal border crossers.

"Customs and Border Protection expanded the number of daily CBP One appointments to 1,450 on June 30, and clearly there is no number of free spots in the U.S. that will stem the flow of mostly single men pouring across the border illegally," said a senior Homeland Security official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "These are numbers that in any other administration would be added to the amount of illegal apprehensions, but this president is allowing unfettered access to the country."

Although the White House initially credited the CBP One app as the reason southern border apprehensions dipped in the month of June, subsequent months have seen illegal crossings return to historically high levels. Law enforcement arrested more than 130,000 illegal aliens on the southern border in July and another 177,000 in August, according to the Washington Post.