A new report from the Institute for Defense Analyses estimates that not only does border patrol catch only about half of all the illegal aliens who cross the U.S.-Mexico border unlawfully between ports of entry, but more than 60 percent of illegal aliens who come through U.S. ports of entry — official areas literally designed to weed out immigration violators – are successfully admitted.
The report was originally requested by Congress to help determine just how effective the Obama administration’s border security policies are on the influx on illegal alien migrants, particularly given the increasing number of aliens who’ve streamed across the border over the past couple of years. The report was completed in May but was only recently released by the Department of Homeland Security and published Friday by the Center for Immigration Studies following months of demands from Congress that the entire report be released.
The Department has denied claims that it was withholding the damning report for political reasons related to the recent presidential election.
The IDA’s estimation that only 54 percent of all illegal alien border crossers are actually caught directly contradicts the Department of Homeland Security’s earlier claim that our current border security system holds an 81 percent apprehension rate, CIS noted in their analysis.
But perhaps even more shocking is the fact that agents apprehend an even fewer percentage of the illegal aliens who pass through U.S. ports of entry at the southern border.
The IDA’s report notes that unsurprisingly, the vast majority of immigrants who come through U.S. ports of entry are doing so legally. However, of those who came through ports of entry illegally in 2015, only about 39 percent were caught. The year before, IDA reports a paltry 29 percent of illegals were apprehended at our ports of entry.
In 2015 alone, the IDA estimates that about 28,000 illegal aliens were admitted through ports of entry into the United States. And while fewer illegals actually try to get through these supposedly guarded areas, the data shows that those who take the risk actually have a higher success rate than those who try to cross the border in between ports of entry.
“This is a difficult mission at many land [points of entry], because the daily number of travelers who need to be inspected can be in the tens of thousands, and an OFO officer often has a relatively small amount of time to conduct an initial inspection of each person,” the IDA stated in its analysis.
The report did note that while the illegal alien apprehension rate at ports of entry is sadly low, the number of illegals successfully passing through POEs in 2015 was only about 30,000, a 90 percent drop from the 250,000 who came through ports of entry illegally in 2005.
Asylum claims filed by illegal alien border crossers, predominantly unaccompanied minors (or those who claim to be) as well as family units, are up from just 20,000 in 2011 to 170,000 in 2015 – an increase of 750 percent over just five years, the report noted.
The IDA does note that even its best estimates listed in the report aren’t perfect, explaining that while border apprehension rate “is a key strategic measure that DHS should be estimating and tracking on a regular basis,” still, “neither DHS not its predecessor agencies have officially reported on the rate of apprehensions at the border, nor has DHS been able to fully asses the deterrent effects of more effective border enforcement.
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