Over 500,000 migrants evaded authorities and escaped into the United States through the southern border according to high-level federal authorities. 

These individuals have gained free entry into the U.S. without identifying themselves or agreeing to be held accountable to our immigration system.

If this is what a “secure” border looks like–as Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed recently–I’d hate to see what he calls an open border.

The American people are not convinced. They know that despite the Biden administration claiming control over the southern border, it is not secure but out of hand. The consequences of which are costly, dangerous, and piling up in cities across America.  

The numbers

An average of over 55,000 known people got away per month​ in FY’22, according to DHS sources. With less than three months left in the fiscal year, over 500,000 gotaways have been recorded–a massive increase from the previous total fiscal year of more than 389,000 immigrants.

Combining both fiscal years and nearly 900,000 immigrants have crossed the border and evaded capture. 

Nearly a million gotaways in two fiscal years are astounding but still short of the true number of illegal migrants living in our nation. We don’t know how many people got away who are not counted because they weren’t captured on camera, spotted by an agent, or processed. 

These individuals, unlike those who surrender themselves to border agents, are intentionally dodging authorities perhaps because they have criminal backgrounds or are engaged in criminal activities including drug smuggling, human trafficking, and gangs.

Illegal immigration’s burdens on society

Illegal immigration through the southern border remains a burgeoning problem. Lawmakers in Congress lack the political will to address illegal immigration and the Biden administration is bending backward to accommodate it.

The problems spawned by illegal immigration are not contained to the southern border though, but are spilling out across the nation.

Big city mayors are complaining that the influx of illegal migrants being shipped to their cities adds to the rising homelessness and poverty. 

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser claimed asylum seekers were being “tricked” onto buses and taken to the nation’s capital after reports surfaced that illegal immigrants are filling homeless shelters.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams complained that illegal immigrants are overburdening the shelter system and placing burdens on a host of public services:

How many other mayors are standing in their shadows with the same complaints, but are too afraid to vocalize them? 

These mayors should be upset, but not with Texas. They should be upset that the U.S. government for not turning migrants away at the southern border and instead admitting many of them based upon unproven asylum claims–almost 90% of which are denied in immigration court.

Furthermore, illegal migrants that are processed are at least known by the government. What impacts are the over 500,000 gotaways and those who escaped undetected making on their communities? 

The impacts are not just fiscal but on public health and public safety. Sadly, the communities directly affected are the poor, minority, and immigrant communities that don’t need more competition for scarce resources and services.

Illegal immigration is a problem years in the making. However, it’s not coincidental that the recent surge in migrants tracks with lax enforcement and policy changes during the Biden administration. It’s time for Washington to take it seriously.