This afternoon President Joe Biden announced that Vice President Kamala Harris will lead efforts to get the situation at the border under control, especially when it comes to unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. ABC News writes, “The role will represent the first significant item in the vice president’s portfolio, and her involvement has the potential to elevate the issue within the White House and broader administration.”
It’s clear that the Biden administration is trying to get a handle on the situation and come up with what it calls a “humane solution,” but what about Republicans who are shouted up and down that this is a crisis created by the current administration’s policies?
The data just doesn’t back it up.
The Washington Post analyzed monthly data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection going back to 2012, and the study found no evidence of a surge, and certainly nothing attributable to any policies of the new administration. In fact, the analysis found that what is happening now is rather routine, at least according to historical patterns.
“What we’re seeing, in other words, isn’t a surge or crisis, but a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded. But that will just be the usual seasonal drop.”
The Post writes:
As the blue line shows, the CBP has recorded a 28 percent increase in migrants apprehended from January to February 2021, from 78,442 to 100,441. News outlets, pundits and politicians have been calling this a “surge” and a “crisis.”
But as you can see, the CBP’s numbers reveal that undocumented immigration is seasonal, shifting upward this time of year. During fiscal year 2019, under the Trump administration, total apprehensions increased 31 percent during the same period, a bigger jump than we’re seeing now.
Maybe the GOP lawmakers declaring it a “crisis” during every breathless appearance on Fox News know about these numbers, and maybe they don’t.
One other indicator we can take from the study of the CBP data is that a probable reason for the spike in migrants approaching the border so far in 2021 reflect pent-up demand. Many people may have delayed their attempt to enter the U.S. due to the pandemic.