WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released operational statistics showing that 2022 was the worst year at the border on record, with 2.4 million border encounters, more border encounters than any year on record which makes it clear that this administration must take action to address the border crisis:
“The September CBP operational statistics show that 1,826 pounds of fentanyl were seized. That is enough to kill more than 414 million Americans. This surge in illicit narcotics coming over our border continues to endanger communities in Ohio and throughout the country since the vast majority of fentanyl is getting through undetected according to the DEA.
“This administration’s border crisis has broken their own record for the most encounters during a fiscal year with 2.4 million border encounters, the highest of any fiscal year on record. The first two years of the Biden administration have been the highest two years of unlawful migration in our nation’s history. The September CBP numbers also show more than 227,500 total encounters at the border, a new record for the month of September. This included more than 54,000 migrant family members; more than 161,000 single adult migrants; and more than 11,900 unaccompanied children.
“Even more alarming, 98 individuals on the terror watchlist were apprehended trying to enter the U.S. between ports of entry in the last year. Our adversaries know they can enter our country through our failed border.
“We weren’t in this situation under the last administration or the Obama administration because we had in place policies that worked to stem the flow of unlawful migration. President Obama deported 65 percent of more than 315,000 unlawful migrants that entered unlawfully in fiscal year 2014 using the same laws and authorities that President Biden has today. In contrast, President Biden deported or removed around 56,000 unlawful migrants in fiscal year 2021, around five percent of the over one million unlawful migrants it processed under our immigration laws. In fact, the Biden administration’s policy on deportations has resulted in a 70 percent reduction in deportations in fiscal year 2021 compared to fiscal year 2020. The lack of responsible border policies by this administration is creating a pull factor for Mexican transnational criminal organizations to push deadly substances into communities in Ohio and traffic unlawful migrants into the country. This administration must take action to end their border crisis to ensure the safety and security of all Americans.”