The numbers couldn’t be more stark for Americans concerned about the impact of rampant illegal immigration. In just the first 16 days of fiscal year 2024 which began October 1, Customs and Border Patrol believes that at least 16,000 immigrants entered the country without being stopped by agents. These so-called “gotaways” are often the worst of the worst, previously deported criminals, terrorists, and drug cartel members.
Under former President Donald Trump, aggressive enforcement of the border resulted in just 380,000 gotaways in three years, but upon taking office, President Joe Biden set about unravelling the network of laws and funding that was showing promise. His open border policy is parroted by fringe left-wing members of his party who are well known for whipping constituents into a frenzy over perceived abuses of power. But the strain of dealing with an estimated 4 million immigrants in just three years is starting to cause fissures between even the most staunch Democrats and the White House.
Democrat leaders in New York City and Chicago have just recently begun expressing frustration as city coffers are rapidly drained. These sanctuary cities had made a promise to illegal immigrants that they would be cared for, housed, fed, clothed, and given a job if they desired to enter the U.S. and make their way to these cities. Many thousands have, and a project by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sent busloads of immigrants to these cities.
Chicago has seen about 15,000 immigrants in the past year, many holding a “notice to appear” document that allows them temporary access to the U.S. Another 150,000 have made their way to New York City. These small numbers have led to billions in expenditures by the two cities which were already unable to operate with a balanced budget due to social safety net spending such as welfare and food stamp programs.
The Biden administration allowed a law called Title 42 to expire earlier this year that prevented asylum seekers from entering the U.S. The Trump-era law was crafted during the pandemic. Immigration levels have continued to rise each year since Biden took office.
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens explained that CBP agents are unable to be in the field making arrests because of the Biden administration policies. Instead, agents are tied up filing paperwork, leaving vast tracts of the southern border unprotected.
Over 18K known gotaways in the first 16 days of FY24. These are individuals whose identities & purpose we do not know. That is why you need every Border Patrol agent to be in the field and on patrol. pic.twitter.com/uQlRgR76HQ
— Chief Jason Owens (@USBPChief) October 17, 2023
Immigration is only one aspect of this complex problem. While unskilled immigrants and their families tax city resources, the influx and lax protections have made it easier for drug smugglers to bring cocaine, methamphetamines, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl into the country. Overdose deaths due to fentanyl are increasing as far away as Alaska as the cheap, deadly drug proliferates.