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Biden’s Border ‘Crackdown’ Will Permit at Least 1.75 Million Migrants to Enter the Country Annually

Published: June 4, 2024
People hold signs and flags at a "close the border" rally in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 4, 2024. Hundreds attended the rally that called for an end to border crossings, sanctuary cities, housing for undocumented immigrants and US President Joe Biden's border policies. The rally also called for helping veterans before immigrants. (Image: JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

On June 4, the Biden administration announced an executive order that says it will shut down the U.S.-Mexico border once illegal crossings hit 2,500 per day between ports of entry for seven consecutive days. The “crackdown” will permit at least 1.75 million migrants to cross into the United States even if the executive order is enforced properly.  

The order, which takes effect immediately, would also lift border restrictions two weeks following the number of border crossings averaging 1,500 for seven consecutive days, senior Biden administration officials said in a background call reviewing the order before it was announced. 

The restrictions include several exceptions, including allowing migrants to cross the border who use the CBP One mobile app at a port of entry, and will allow “unaccompanied children, victims of a severe form of trafficking, those who face an acute medical emergency or an imminent and extreme threat to life and safety and other non citizens who have a valid visa or some other lawful permission to enter the United States.”

This means that even if migration is limited, as per the order, for a full calendar year, the number of crossings would hit 912,500. This would be a historic high compared to the rest of the century.

CBS News reported in February that some 450,000 migrants had gained access to the country by using the CBP One application in the 13 months since the program was first introduced by Biden in January 2023. 

Another 400,000 migrants have entered the country through a mass parole program which allowed Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans to fly directly into the country. 

An earlier version of the order intended to allow upwards of 4,000 migrants to enter the country per day before implementing restrictions, which would have allowed 1.46 million to enter the country annually. 


Election-year stunt

Congressional Republicans have blasted the move as an election-year stunt, considering Biden had previously rolled back Trump-era immigration policies, including halting the construction of a border wall and ending Title 42 and Remain in Mexico policies which were believed to have kept numbers down.

Since January 2021, when Biden took office, nearly 7 million migrants have entered the country illegally nationwide and it’s estimated that roughly 1.7 million are suspected to have sneaked into the country without arrest.

In January this year, Biden told reporters that he had “done all I can do,” regarding the border. At the time, he said that he had “asked” for the power to control the border “from the very day I got into office.”

“Just give me the power,” he said. “Give me the Border Patrol, give me the people, the judges — give me the people who can stop this and make it work right.”

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in April this year, federal authorities apprehended an average of 5,990 migrants per day just on the southern border, a number that does not include migrants known as “gotaways,” who were not captured. 

Most migrants apprehended at the U.S. border are given court orders and released into the country. 

In 2019, Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary said that 1,000 illegal crossings per day would be considered an overwhelming crisis.