Detentions At The Southern Border Total More Than Several States

Last year, we were talking about a border crisis with a crush of illegal immigrants led commonly in caravans. Year over year, we’ve experienced an 88% increase. On Tuesday, Customs and Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan revealed the detentions recorded at our southern border and the numbers were staggering. 

A total of 977,509 detentions were recorded, and an 88% increase year over year. To put that number in perspective, that’s higher than the population of six states. Plus, those are just the detentions processed, not factoring in illegal immigrants who successfully made their way past authorities. The president’s critics have called into question his characterization of the organized caravans as “invasions” but is he wrong? 

If you have populations of people totaling numbers greater than six of your states within a year seeking access to your country unlawfully, what is that if not an invasion? According to CPB, most detentions continue to come from central Americans countries. Morgan noted that while the total number of detentions isn’t a record, the burden on the system is. Unlike detentions in the past, these caravans led and coached migrants to claim asylum to enter the asylum process in the American legal system in the hopes of effectively side-stepping the legal immigration application process. The already overwhelmed system has reached stunning levels. The current projected wait time for an asylum case to be heard is 700 days.

Of the asylum cases to be heard, more than 98% have been deemed to be illegitimate by the courts. That means that out of the greater than 977k detentions over the past year, only around 19,500 will have status granted. In the meantime, what’s the impact to us? The average cost per person detained to us is $137 per day. With a processing time of 700 days, every detainee costs American taxpayers $96,000. These are not victimless crimes. We’re all paying a very expensive price for illegal immigrants. For those who claim that we can’t afford a border wall or whatever the excuse today is, we can’t afford not to have one. 

Photo by: John Moore/Getty Images

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