In March, the Border Patrol apprehended more than 171,000 migrants who had made illegal crossings into the United States, the highest monthly total since 2006 — and it included more than 18,800 children who arrived without their parents. This is an extraordinary increase — up from 78,442 apprehensions in January — and it doesn’t include nearly 1,000 “got aways” per day.

"Got aways" are migrants who are observed making an illegal entry but are not caught. DHS has no way of determining how many aliens enter without being observed.

The increase in the number of families making illegal crossings in March was even steeper, soaring to more than 53,000 — up from 7,294 in January.

This is a crisis, and Biden isn’t taking effective steps to deal with it.
He appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the administration’s efforts to persuade Mexico and the Central American countries to address the root causes that push people to flee their homes in the first place. This was one of the objectives in his plan for “securing our values as a nation of immigrants.”

This has been tried already with the Central American countries.
Between fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2018, the United States provided $3.7 billion in aid to Central America, and the Obama-Biden administration promoted economic prosperity, improved security, and strengthened governance in Central America in 2014 with its U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America program.

It hasn’t worked.

People are still leaving those countries to come here; moreover, there is little — if any — reason to think it ever will. The differences between conditions in Central America and the United States are too great, particularly economic conditions.

The average annual income in El Salvador is $4,000; in Guatemala it is $4,610; and in Honduras it is $2,310.

In the United States it’s $65,850.


Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow his blog at