114 percent jump in illegal immigrant arrests at northern border: GOP

In the first four months of fiscal 2024, there were 103 encounters with individuals listed in the Terrorist Screening Data Set compared to just eight at the southwest border.

An early morning apprehension of 4 adult males from Bangladesh on February 1, near Mooers, New York. (Chief Border Patrol Agent Robert Garcia/X)

The number of illegal immigrants arrested at America’s northern border has more than doubled this fiscal year, with Republicans putting the blame on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Since October 1st, 2023, the Northern Border has seen a record number of illegal immigrants and drug seizures, most notably fentanyl, by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP),” said a March 25 letter from 22 GOP lawmakers to Mr. Mayorkas. In the first four months of fiscal year 2024, Border Patrol apprehended 4,772 individuals from the northern border — a 114 percent increase from the same period last fiscal, lawmakers said citing CBP data.

“This 114 percent increase in apprehensions is unsustainable and symptomatic of your broader failure to secure the border.” In the Swanton Sector, apprehensions have jumped from 1,514 to 3,192. In the Buffalo Sector, apprehensions have almost doubled.

While Border Patrol agents continue to conduct life-saving search and rescue missions as temperatures reach sub-zero levels in the northern border, “you continue to insist that you are managing the border in a safe, orderly, and humane manner by providing ‘legal pathways’ to otherwise inadmissible aliens.”

In the first four months of fiscal 2024, there have been 103 encounters with individuals listed in the Terrorist Screening Data Set (TSDS) compared to just eight in the southwest border, the letter said.

Lawmakers pointed out that this was not a new phenomenon as 484 TSDS encounters were registered in the northern border in fiscal 2023 and 313 during fiscal 2022. In both these years, the number of such encounters in the Southwest was lower.

“Dangerous individuals continue to take advantage of the vast northern border, which is the longest land border between two countries in the world, and relatively unguarded by natural barriers.”

The letter highlighted the “dangerous spike in drug smuggling,” especially fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. In the first four months of fiscal 2024, CBP has seized over double the amount of fentanyl from the northern border than it did throughout the entire fiscal 2023, the lawmakers stated.

A total of 1,188 pounds of fentanyl have been seized, which is “enough to kill more than 270 million people.”

“In FY 2024 alone Border Patrol agents are on track to apprehend a record number of illegal immigrants at the Northern Border. These statistics are yet another example of how the Biden administration is downplaying the serious nature of this orchestrated border crisis.”

The lawmakers asked Mr. Mayorkas to answer questions related to border security by April 25, including (a) how the DHS intends to address strains experienced by communities along the northern border due to the surge in illegal immigrants, (b) steps taken to ensure “effective enforcement” of border rules, and (c) specific policies being implemented to prevent “further increases in illegal activities” at the northern border.

Unsecure border

According to CBP data, there have been 75,171 total encounters at the northern land border so far this fiscal year, up from 68,778 in the same period during fiscal 2023. For the entirety of 2023, there were 189,402 encounters, up from 27,180 in 2021.

In a recent interview with The Epoch Times, Steve Slepcevic, CEO of disaster management company Strategic Response Partners, said that he was shocked at “how porous the border is.”

“There’s no border control. It’s way easier,” he said about the northern border. “I think it’s serious, but it’s not as bad as what’s coming across the southern border.” He said that several men of military age, including gang members, were entering the United States through the north.

Mr. Slepcevic warns that the situation poses a serious security threat for America as illegal aliens can gain access to weapons through the black market.

“We need secure borders. We need to vet the people coming in. These guys are coming in with no IDs. They shred any paperwork they have before crossing the border. They name themselves whatever they want to,” he said.

Speaking to Breitbart in September, former senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, said that illegal immigration and drug trafficking were out of control at the Canadian border.

“I was up in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, which is the northernmost part of New Hampshire. I met this farm owner up there, she’s got a great family farm, raising her children, it’s a beautiful place, it should be idyllic,” she said.

“[The farm] borders Canada. They intercepted drugs, her and her husband. There was a drug drop on her property and bear in mind, they’ve owned this property for decades and this is now becoming a huge problem under the Biden administration … She’s worried about her kids. She knows that there are illegal immigrants, they’ve come on her property, and you know, they’re armed — they have to be.”

During a rally earlier this month, former President Donald Trump slammed President Joe Biden’s open border policies.

“Biden’s conduct on our border is by any definition a conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America,” the former president said. “He talks about democracy but he’s a danger to democracy.”

President Trump suggested that the conspiracy was to allow numerous illegal immigrants into America, legalize them, and turn these people into Democrat voters.

“Biden and his accomplices want to collapse the American system, nullify the will of the actual American voters, and establish a new base of power that gives them control for generations.”


Naveen Athrappully | The Epoch Times