Despite increased spending by the Department of Homeland Security, the cost of processing applications of immigrants increased from $345 million in 2022 to $765 million in 2023 with the number of pending cases rising. In November of 2023, the number of backlog immigration cases reached a historic number of 3 million. The number is a 50% increase from the previous year.
The November record of the Immigration Court backlog surpassed 3 million active cases; over a million of the cases had been added in just the prior 12 months. The Center Square reports the Department of Homeland Security increased the number of full-time employees working on application processing from 1,250 to 2,709. Application Processing offers support in decreasing application processing times, reducing the backlog and expanding humanitarian efforts.
The Fiscal Year 2024 President’s Budget includes another $264 million as well as adds 795 more positions to deal with backlogged cases. The Center Square adds that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services stated it had hired new staff, expanded overtime hours, and invested in information technology to improve the processing of cases.
Far from the southern border in Denver, Colorado, Mayor Mike Johnston said Tuesday that the cost to the state in 2024 will be $180 million to deal with the infusion of migrants. Johnston says the city had 150 buses arrive in December carrying migrants, with over 250 individuals arriving each day.
“This challenge is far larger than we have ever seen it before,” Johnston said. “The scale can feel overwhelming.” The issue is “unsustainable” says Johnston. “We are the closest, cheapest bus ticket from El Paso,” Johnston said. “It’s the cheapest ticket for [Texas] Governor [Greg] Abbott and anyone else to buy, so they just come to Denver. We think that is unsustainable for this city.”
Canadian-U.S. border illegal crossings up 240% over previous year
The vulnerability of the northern border of the United States is being weaponized in the war on illegal migration. 2023 saw a 240% increase of individuals apprehended from just one year prior. Not only is the border with Canada significantly longer than its border with Mexico, but its ports of entry are often understaffed while the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is forced to prioritize the southern surge.
According to recent data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in 2023 authorities halted over 12,000 migrants attempting illegal crossings at the Canadian border. The number is a 240% increase from the preceding year when 3,579 individuals were apprehended.
ADN America reports that approximately 70% of the illegal crossings took place along a 295-mile stretch along the northern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire border called the Swanton Sector.
Chief patrol agent for the sector, Robert Garcia, posted on social media that the 3,100 individuals apprehended were from 55 different countries.
Garcia wrote “the record-breaking surge of illegal entries from Canada continues in Swanton Sector” and he specifically mentioned that the arrest of 10 Bangladeshi citizens was prompted by a citizen’s report in Champlain, New York.
Surprisingly, ADN reports:
A significant number of those engaging in illegal crossings are Mexicans who exploit the opportunity to fly to Canada without a visa, also avoiding the presence of cartels in their home countries.
Experts suggest that migrants can purchase a $350 one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto. This route is perceived as offering a lower likelihood of being turned away compared to those crossing the southern border.
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