Biden administration officials claimed repeat illegal border crossings are misrepresenting the border crisis and making it seem worse than it is.
Last month, border officials arrested more than 180,000 illegal immigrants who tried to enter the country, the highest number in the past two decades.
That number is also higher than March’s arrests, which totaled 172,331. However, officials tried to say border crossings aren’t actually increasing because many of the arrests represent re-offenders.
“There’s a difference between encounters and individuals,” one official told the Washington Examiner. “There are, right now, an unusual number of repeat crossers, but the number of actual individuals who attempt to cross is down from April and a little over 20,000 lower than May of 2019.”
Another Department of Homeland Security official—who recently testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation and Operations—agreed, claiming that repeat crossings were exaggerating the nature of the crisis.
“While recent encounter numbers are high, they also somewhat overstate migration flows, particularly among single adults,”said David Shahoulian, DHS assistant secretary for border security and immigration.
More than 120,000 of the 180,000 illegal immigrants arrested in May were single adults, according to border officials. Of those 120,000 single adults, 38% had been caught trying to enter the country illegally at least once in the past 12 months.
Shahoulian admitted that many of the illegal immigrants caught entering the country, especially repeat offenders, do so because they know they will not be prosecuted once they arrive, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“DHS sees significantly higher-than-normal repeated crossing attempts. In other words, the Department is often encountering the same individual multiple times after being encountered and expelled from the United States,” he said.
Border agents in Texas have also reported an alarming increase in arrests of convicted sex offenders who were trying to enter the country.
Since the beginning of fiscal year 2021, Texas Border Patrol agents in Del Rio have arrested 95 illegal immigrants previously found guilty of sex crimes, which is a 3,166% increase compared to last year’s numbers.