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Nearly 250,000 illegal border crossers apprehended in April

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The flow of illegal border crossers remained steady in April with 247,837 illegally entering nationwide, slightly more than those who illegally entered in March, according to newly released U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

Nearly 2 million have illegally entered the country this fiscal year, totaling 1.98 million since October 2023 when the fiscal year began.

The majority who illegally entered last month, as in all months, were single adults. Fiscal year through April, more than 1.2 million single adults illegally entered the U.S. The official data excludes gotaways, those who were reported to illegally enter and evaded capture.

Those illegally entering at the southwest border last month totaled 179,725, excluding gotaways.

Despite historically record high numbers continuing to be reported every month, Troy Miller, a senior official performing the duties of the CBP Commissioner, said the administration had increased border enforcement and as a result, “southwest border encounters have not increased, bucking previous trends.”

The data contradicts his claim.

Miller also said, “the nation’s immigration system is not appropriately resourced to handle” the ongoing challenges at the border and called on Congress “to take action that would provide our personnel with additional resources and tools.”

He did so after Congress has allocated the largest budget in agency history under the current administration despite a report from a Republican-controlled House committee that claims the agency has wasted millions of dollars of taxpayer money.

CBP also processed 41,400 foreign nationals at ports of entry using the CBP One app, according to the data. Since launching the app in January 2023, through the end of April 2024, more than 591,000 foreign nationals scheduled appointments through the app to arrive at ports of entry.

Among them, 434,800 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans arrived at ports of entry and were granted parole. They totaled 95,500 Cubans, 184,600 Haitians, 83,800 Nicaraguans, and 109,200 Venezuelans. CBP says they all “were vetted and authorized for travel” to the United States. Among them, 91,100 Cubans, 166,700 Haitians, 75,700 Nicaraguans, and 101,200 Venezuelans were granted parole and released into the country.

The greatest number of nationalities processed for entry into the U.S. using the app were from Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico and Venezuela, according to CBP data.

The official papers releasing them into the country state they are “inadmissible aliens,” meaning were it not for the parole program created by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, they would not be permitted into the country under current law. Multiple states have sued, arguing the app and parole program are illegal. They are also among more than a dozen programs identified as illegal for which the House impeached Mayorkas.

While CBP claims those using the app and being released into the country are vetted and have gone through security checks, law enforcement officials have explained to The Center Square that CBP does not have the staff or resources to thoroughly vet them and not every country cooperates and shares criminal histories of their citizens with U.S. authorities. This is partially why criminal foreign nationals, including those on the terrorist watch list, continue to be apprehended after they have been released into the country.

Members of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security have demanded answers from Mayorkas after learning that Border Patrol agents had released known or suspected terrorists into the country.

Members of the House Judiciary Committee have also demanded answers on how many gotaways have entered the country. The Center Square first began reporting on gotaways nearer the beginning of President Joe Biden’s term after obtaining data from a Border Patrol agent every month. CBP does not include gotaway data when it publishes monthly official apprehension data. The estimated number of gotaways that have illegally entered the country since January 2021 is over two million, The Center Square has reported.

In response to April’s numbers, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-TN, said the border crisis has only worsened to a catastrophic level under the president and Mayorkas.

“The fundamentals of this unprecedented homeland security crisis are all the same,” he said, “illegal aliens know they will likely be released if they cross between ports of entry, and record numbers continue flocking to our ports of entry to take advantage of the Biden administration’s unlawful mass-parole programs.

“Encounters at Southwest border ports of entry in April 2024 grew ten-fold from April 2021– meaning that hundreds of thousands of inadmissible aliens are now just coming in through a port of entry instead of between the ports of entry. The end result is the same – historic numbers of inadmissible aliens being released into our country. This has to end.”