Joe Biden Lied to America About Illegal Immigration

Joe Biden
June 29, 2024 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: Politics Tags: Joe Biden2024 ElectionU.S. PoliticsImmigrationGOPMAGA

Joe Biden Lied to America About Illegal Immigration

President Joe Biden claimed that illegal border crossings had decreased by 40 percent under his administration. This statement was misleading.


Key Points You Need to Know: During the recent presidential debate, President Joe Biden claimed that illegal border crossings had decreased by 40 percent under his administration.

-This statement was misleading.


-In reality, encounters at the border have increased significantly.

Biden’s Misleading Claim that Illegal Immigration is Down 40 Percent

Immigration was a much-anticipated topic for the presidential debate. My colleagues at the Daily Signal fact-checked 16 claims made by both candidates here.

But there’s one more I can’t let slide without comment: Joe Biden’s attempted slam-dunk claim that border crossings were down 40 percent.

Biden’s response to a question about the border (around the 21-minute mark) was garbled, but he said this clearly: “…there are 40 percent fewer people coming across the border illegally, that’s better than when he [Trump] left office.”

The claim that fewer aliens are illegally crossing the border under Biden than under Trump is patently false. In fiscal year 2020, there were 405,036 total encounters by the Border Patrol, of aliens attempting to enter illegally at U.S. borders. In fiscal 2023, there were 2,063,692.

In December 2019, there were 51,320.

In December 2023, there were 251,177.

Biden continued: “And I’m going to continue to move until we get the total ban… on the … the total initiative… relative to what we’re gonna do with more Border Patrol and more asylum officers.”

My best interpretation of what he was trying to say is that he would like to hire more Border Patrol so that more illegal aliens can be processed into the United States, and hire more U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum officers, who are far more likely to approve applications for asylum than immigration judges under the proper process.

In other words, the same policy he’s followed since he came into office: more process, parole, and punt—and less deterrence, detention, and deportation.

What about Biden’s claim that encounters are down 40 percent?

Maybe, if you count only encounters between the ports of entry, and only during the three weeks since Biden’s border presidential proclamation. But let’s not forget Biden’s shell game of shifting inadmissible aliens through ports of entry to make his border numbers look better. A huge number are being allowed in under Biden’s invented mass-parole programs. In addition to the 30,000 a month paroled in from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, many more from dozens of other countries are being allowed to fly into the U.S. or book appointments at land ports of entry using the “CBP One” application.

That means 75,000 or so off-the-books illegal aliens, laundered through phony programs, entering the country every month. Many of the preventable crimes caused by Biden’s policies are committed by paroled aliens.

Leaving parole aside, from about 2009-2019, the average number of monthly encounters at the border was about 50,000. In May 2024, there were “only” 241,022, which by any historical or rational measure, is disastrous.

Even taking this figure at face value, Biden and his administration want Americans to believe that illegal alien encounters are down due to their good management. How did they create this dangerous delusion?

First, there are the parole programs discussed above. Second, Biden officials have persuaded Mexico, in the short-term, to discourage illegal migration through its territory by increasing military patrols, checkpoints, and busing U.S.-bound migrants further south until they try again. This will last as long as Mexico wants to help – which won’t be long. Their newly-elected president, Claudia Sheinbaum, is joined at the hip to current president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has denied Mexico’s role in Fentanyl trafficking, allegedly colluded with cartels, and mostly facilitated mass illegal immigration northward.

Biden’s 40 percent claim was misleading. What counts in scoring any administration’s record on controlling illegal immigration over the borders is how many total inadmissible aliens are being let into the country. Not including the roughly 600,000 “gotaways” per year who sneak by without inspection, that means counting aliens caught and immediately released into deportation proceedings, plus those paroled. That’s what gives us the 241,022 number for May.

December 2023 set the all-time worst record of 370,879 total encounters of inadmissible aliens. Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas said at the time that his agency was releasing over 85% of them. No amount of spin can hide the fact that the border is swinging open like a saloon door.

Yet Mayorkas tells us “the border is secure.” He tells us aliens are vetted before release. False.

Yes, their names and data are run through U.S. criminal records. But how many of them have criminal records at home? No one knows. No one knew the backgrounds of the Venezuelans who allegedly raped and murdered Laken Riley and Jocelyn Nungaray, the Salvadoran who murdered Rachel Morin, the Turk accused of raping a New York girl, and the Ecuadorans arrested for strangling and raping young girls in New York state - before they were recklessly released into the country by Biden’s DHS.

As Mayorkas said testily in a town hall meeting this week, “Precision when one is addressing the facts is very, very important.” Yes indeed. And precision on immigration is not what we got last night.

About the Author

Simon Hankinson is a Senior Research Fellow in the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation.

All images are from Shutterstock.