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Tipsheet

The Biden Administration Continues to Spin Record-High Border Crossing Stats

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

The crisis at the border is bad and it's getting worse. There isn't any other way to say that when 180,034 people tried to cross the border in May, the highest it's been in any month over the past 20 years. Yet the Biden administration still tries to spin it. During a Thursday call with reporters, administration officials framed it as how "there's a difference between encounters and individuals" to claim the numbers aren't as high, as Anna Giaritelli reported for The Washington Examiner

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The message is a consistent one from the Biden administration, with the focus on how "total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border" appearing in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release

Also taking place on Thursday was a hearing on "Unaccompanied Children at the Border: Federal Response and the Way Forward" from the Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations U.S. House of Representatives.

Before the committee was Assistant Secretary for Border Security and Immigration U.S. Department of Homeland Security David David Shahoulian, who repeated such an idea in his opening remarks. "It is important to note that while recent encounter numbers are high, they also somewhat overstate migration flows, particularly among single adults," he claimed.

"Of course, the high re-encounter rate does not minimize the impact of current encounters on the Department. But it does serve as a reminder that encounter numbers do not tell the whole story and that migration surges have varied and complicated causes," Shahoulian continued. That is supposed to be Vice President Kamala Harris's job to figure out, though it doesn't appear as if her trip to Guatemala and Mexico did all that much or left the administration happy, even with low expectations.

Shahoulian acknowledged the problem is likely to get worse. "Until we address the root causes that push people to migrate in the first place and establish lawful, safe, and orderly pathways for people to seek protection or opportunity, we will likely continue to see an increase in unauthorized migration at our Southwest Border," added.

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Giartelli points out that a person "on the White House call cited declines in the number of migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras crossing the border, which dropped from 30,000 in April to 22,000 in May," which is also cited in the above-mentioned CBP press release. "However, the officials did not note that the number of people arriving in family groups has quadrupled since January, increasing from 3,500 to nearly 19,000 in May," Giartelli also reported.

As Julio reported on Friday, Border Patrol agents are also already seeing a high amount of drug seizures, with the agency seizing more cocaine and fentanyl shipments in eight months for fiscal year 2021 than all of fiscal year 2020.

On Saturday, former President Donald Trump highlighted concerns with the border crisis while speaking at the NC GOP convention. Trump regarded the "catastrophic southern border" as the Biden administration's biggest failure. As Paul Bedard, the Washington Secrets columnist for the Washington Examiner, reported, Trump and his immigration policy advisor, Stephen Miller, want Republicans more engaged on the issue, including and especially leading up to the 2022 midterm elections.

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"The Republican Party needs to turn this up from a three to 10 on the attention and emotion scale," Miller said, who also noted that "there needs to be massive public engagement at every single level," because "it really is about the survival of the country." 

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