U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced an expansion to the number of daily asylum appointments available to migrants seeking admission through one of several southwest border ports of entry. The increase will raise the daily total of migrant admissions through the application from 1,250 per day to 1,450. According to CBP’s announcement on June 30, the number represents a nearly 50 percent increase from the daily total appointments available from May 12, when CBP officers began processing 1,000 appointments daily.
The application is touted by CBP as a “safe, orderly, and humane” process for migrants to access ports of entry, providing CBP officers with advance information for screening and vetting to determine admissibility on a case-by-case basis. The use of the application for this purpose is facing criticism by some members of Congress who believe the admission of migrants through ports of entry is merely an attempt to hide the crisis at the southwest border from the public.
In a recent interview on Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) described the use of the application by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as an attempt to mask the numbers. Green told Cavuto, “The numbers aren’t going down. That’s a shell game for Mayorkas”.
Green added, “They had another month of 200,000 plus migrant [encounters]. And what’s happened since Title 42 is he’s using this CBP One app to actually mask the numbers.”
“So, a person comes to the border, they’re telling them to voluntarily return to Mexico, fill out the app, and then come in,” the Tennessee congressman continued. “And they’re immediately released; they’re giving them parole into the United States against the Immigration and Naturalization Act. So those numbers are hidden in another count.”
Friday’s announcement of the increase of available appointments marks the second time in less than two months the agency has increased migrant admissions using the application. Using the application shifts crossings from between ports of entry, where Border Patrol agents are tasked with apprehending the migrants, to ports of entry where CBP Office of Field Operations officers perform the screening and processing.
The available appointments for migrants are being spread between eight ports of entry: Brownsville, Paso Del Norte in El Paso, Eagle Pass, Hidalgo, and Laredo in Texas; Calexico and San Ysidro in California; and Nogales in Arizona.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, the added workload placed upon CBP officers, according to one CBP official, is potentially hindering officers from detecting and seizing illicit narcotics such as fentanyl, converting some frontline enforcement officers into asylum petition clerks. The latest increase means frontline CBP officers must process and admit nearly 45,000 migrants via the CBP One application per month.
Recently, appointments at one port of entry in Laredo, Texas, were suspended due to concerns migrants were being extorted by immigration authorities in Mexico. OnCBP One June 3, CBP officially halted the processing of asylum applications moving those migrants to Brownsville, San Diego, and El Paso.
The agency resumed the processing of migrants at the Laredo Bridge One pedestrian crossing as of Thursday, according to a recent news report.