The Biden administration and Congress did nothing to boost funding for two key border security agencies in the last fiscal year, leaving them each at the same level as last year even as they coped with a record surge in illegal immigrants.
Final spending data released by the Treasury Department shows that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which enforces immigration laws at the border and runs the U.S. Border Patrol, received no new funding to deal with the problem, which included a record number of migrant encounters over the course of the year.
In fiscal year 2022, which ended Sept. 30, CBP spent $17.8 billion, almost exactly the same as it spent in FY21.
The smaller U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which operates on the border but also enforces immigration laws in the interior of the U.S., spent about 8% more – $8.9 billion compared to the $8.2 billion in FY21. That amounts to a combined 2% increase for the two agencies.
Supporters of a tougher stance on illegal immigration said the lack of any push for new funding is just more proof the Biden administration is uninterested in fixing the problem at the southern border. The wave of illegal immigration led to the death of 856 migrants at or near the border last year, and Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said the Biden administration needs to address this head-on.
“This administration has even gone on to brazenly claim that the border is ‘secure’ and the border is ‘closed,’ despite astounding evidence to prove otherwise,” Katko told Fox News Digital. “It should come as no surprise that this administration has not prioritized providing the right resources and policies for CBP to effectively do their jobs.”
“As the president and his administration continue to turn a blind eye to the humanitarian crisis at the border, House Republicans will be ready on day one of a Republican majority to deliver real solutions to the border crisis,” he added.
Final numbers released by CBP said a record 2,378,944 migrant encounters took place in that year, and that nearly a quarter of a million of those took place in September, another record. The known number of “gotaways” who escaped capture at the border was 599,000.
Additionally, 98 suspected terrorists were arrested there over the course of the year.
“The American people should expect more from the president of the United States,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told Fox News Digital. “We are facing the largest border security crisis in our history and this budget clearly shows the president is unwilling to do what’s necessary to get this crisis under control.
“Unfortunately, President Biden cares more about politics and appeasing the far left base than he does in protecting our children, families, friends and neighbors,” Judd added.
Tom Homan – former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Heritage Foundation visiting fellow, and a Fox News contributor – agreed that the Biden administration has “made clear they’re not going to fund enforcement.”
Homan said rather than push for funding to address the problem, the Biden administration has funneled more money into alternatives to detention that are making it easier for illegal immigrants to stay in the country. While former alternatives to detention involved ankle bracelets with GPS capability, the Biden administration has purposefully moved away from GPS devices.
“That’s a clear example of them not funding enforcement, and as a matter of fact, doing the opposite,” Homan told Fox News Digital. “This administration has shown they’re not going to fund enforcement, they’re going to fund release.”
Homan said the administration should be funding the completion of the wall on the southern border, including technology improvements that help border agents detect crossings. He also said the U.S. Border Patrol is 3,000 people short of a full staff. “They should have a record budget,” he said.
CBP and ICE did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this story.