Question: Are criminals crossing the border and being released into the US?
Answer: A few criminals are found attempting to cross. Their criminal status or warrants for arrest are found during processing. They are arrested and charged.
Of the 1.66 million encounters in FY 2021, the Border patrol arrested almost 11,000 “criminals”, or about 6 for every 1,000 encounters. Most of these - 57% - were for illegal entry or re-entry. The next top two offenses were drug possession (20%) and DUI (15%). The total number of people arrested for violent crimes was about 2,900, representing about 1 in 1,000.
The Border Patrol also checks for gang affiliation when processing those who cross illegally. In 2021, 348 people of those encountered were expelled for gang affiliation. That is 1 in 5,000.
Drugs are usually smuggled through actual ports but are sometimes found on people crossing illegally between ports. By weight, marijuana has been the most smuggled drug, but methamphetamine seizures are rapidly increasing. Cocaine and fentanyl are often seized also.
“Rented children” refers to children who cross the border with someone who is not their parent for the express purpose of taking advantage of benefits and leniency available to families with children. Once their fake “parent” is across the child is sent back to Mexico to perform the same service for someone else. Rapid DNA technology has been used at the border since 2015 and is capable of confirming a parent-child relationship within 90 minutes. Until 2021, it was used primarily by ICE to verify parentage before separating parents and children in custody. In mid-2021, the process was improved and now coordinates with Border Patrol to verify parent-child relationships.
Legitimate, but non-parental relationships can include step-parents, other relatives, or adults with whom the child has a real, custodial relationship. Data from pilot projects from 2019 to 2020, indicate that approximately 300 children were found to not be with a biological parent or about 8% of those identified as suspicious relationships.
American Immigration Council. (2021, October 15). A Guide to Title 42 Expulsions at the Border. Retrieved from American immigration Council: https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/guide-title-42-expulsions-border
Congressional Research Service. (2021, December 22). Immigration: Apprehensions and Expulsions at the Southwest Border. Retrieved from Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov
Congressional Research Service. (2021, September 20). U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) COVID-19 Policies and Protocols at the Southwest Border. Retrieved from Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov
Department of Homeland Security. (2021, December 6). Court Ordered Reimplementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols. Retrieved from Homeland Security: dhs.gov/migrant-protection-protocols
Office of the Inspector General. (2022, February 8). CBP Officials Implemented Rapid DNA Testing to Verify Claimed Parent-Child Relationships. Retrieved from Office of the Inspector General: https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2022-02/OIG-22-27-Feb22.pdf
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2021, October 1). Custody and Transfer Statistics FY2021. Retrieved from U.S. Customs and Border Protection: cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/custody-and-transfer-statistics-fy2021
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2021, October 1). Migrant Protection Protocols FY2021. Retrieved from U.S. Customs and Border Protection: cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/migrant-protection-protocols-fy2021
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2021, December 2). Nationwide Enforcement Encounters: Title 8 Enforcement Actions and Title 42 Expulsions FY2021. Retrieved from U.S. Customs and Border Protection: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/cbp-enforcement-statistics/title-8-and-title-42-statistics-fy2021
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2022, January 1). CBP Enforcement Statistics Fiscal Year 2022. Retrieved from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/cbp-enforcement-statistics
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2022, January 12). Criminal Noncitizen Statistics Fiscal Year 2022. Retrieved from U.S. Customs and Border Protection: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/cbp-enforcement-statistics/criminal-noncitizen-statistics#