Migrant Drop-Offs.

            Illegal immigration to the United States has fluctuated across time.[1]  It fell sharply after the beginning of the “Great Recession.”  Subsequently, the Trump administration cracked down hard on illegal immigration.  This became a principle grievance of Democrats.  So, in 2021, illegal immigration jumped up sharply after the election of President Joe Biden.  The US Border Patrol reported “catching” 1.7 million people who had crossed the Mexican-American border.  The Border Patrol didn’t actually “catch” most of them.  Instead, the immigrants looked for Border Patrol officers to whom they could surrender.

            Under American immigration law, any foreigner who reaches the United States has the right to apply for asylum.  To do so, they have to state that they fear persecution or violence if they are forced to return to their home country.  Once the immigrant files the initial claim, then the government begins a process to deciding if the claim is valid.  If the claim is accepted, then the immigrant is allowed to remain in the United States.  However, the immigration system is massively back-logged.  It will be years before asylum-seekers have their cases decided.  In the meantime, the immigrants are free to go wherever they want.  Humanitarian groups have paid for immigrants to travel somewhere else for many years.  State governments that want to immigrants to do their waiting elsewhere can pay for the immigrants’ travel to some destination.[2] 

            Currently, about 8,000 illegal immigrants/asylum-seekers enter the United States each day.  Early in Summer 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) drafted a plan to begin moving the immigrants to “interior” cities (like Los Angeles).  One news report says that DHS has grown tired of White House foot-dragging on doing even the preliminary work to prepare for this plan.[3]  Now, according to the Border Patrol, about 1,300 migrants per day have been crossing near El Paso, Texas alone.  The processing center is swamped.  Beginning on 7 September 2022, Border Patrol agents began dropping off illegal immigrants near the city’s bus station.  It’s a not-so-subtle hint that they should go somewhere else in the United States.[4]   

            Republican governors have started sending bus-loads of migrants to “sanctuary cities.”[5]  Recently, Florida governor Ron DeSantis sent a small plane-load of illegal immigrants from Venezuela to Martha’s Vineyard.  Texas governor Greg Abbott sent a busload of illegal immigrants from Central and South America to the sidewalk in front of the official home of the Vice President.  These and other state-paid migrant movements have been roundly denounced by Democrats as “inhumane” and as “political stunts.”  However, so far, “no evidence has surfaced that the migrants boarded the flights or buses unwillingly.” 

            Apparently, large-scale migrant movements are coming.  One way or another. 


[1] See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_immigration_to_the_United_States 

[2] Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Eileen Sullivan, “Were the Migrant Drop-Offs Legal?  It’s Complicated,” NYT, 17 September 2022. 

[3] Julia Ainsley, “Friction between White House and Senior Homeland Security officials mounts as migrant borders crossings soar,” NBC News, 15 September 2022.  Friction between White House and DHS officials as migrant numbers rise (nbcnews.com)  The high numbers are unlikely to continue.  If they did, then the US would be on track to receive 2.9 million illegal immigrants in the course of a year.  Hilariously, one DHS proposal is to fly the recent arrivals to the Canadian border.  Let them figure it out from there. 

[4] Julia Ainsley, “Migrant Surge Overwhelms Border Patrol and Shelters in El Paso,” NBC News, 13 September 2022.  Migrant surge overwhelms Border Patrol, shelters in El Paso (nbcnews.com) 

[5] Sanctuary city – Wikipedia