Contrary to anticipations, there was not an immediate surge of migrants illegally crossing the southern border following the end in May of the Title 42 public health order, which allowed for the immediate expulsion of migrants at the border due to the pandemic.
However, leaked numbers for August from U.S. Customs and Border Protection have revealed that the expected surge of migrants was merely delayed for a couple of months and the border crisis is once again just as bad, if not worse, than it was previously under President Joe Biden, according to the Washington Examiner.
According to figures shared with the Examiner by three unnamed U.S. officials, there were at least 182,401 individuals who were apprehended by Border Patrol agents after illegally entering the country in the month of August, with around 179,000 of those apprehensions occurring at or near the southern border.
That is substantially higher than the official number of border apprehensions for June and July, which were reported as 100,611 and 134,074, respectively, which were the first two full months of data reported following the lifting of Title 42.
It is also suggestive of higher-than-average illegal border crossings in the months ahead, as cross-border migration and apprehensions tend to decline during the hottest summer months only to rebound once cooler fall weather becomes more prevalent.
That could spell trouble for the White House, which has been celebrating the lower-than-usual number of border apprehensions as evidence that Biden's border policies -- currently focused on providing more legal pathways for migration rather than securing the border -- are working well to reduce illegal immigration.
The numbers should also be worrisome for Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, who has been sharply scrutinized by House Republicans and threatened with investigations and potential impeachment over his clear failure to fully secure and defend the nation's borders from intrusions.
Yet, if the Biden White House is aware of the border apprehension numbers for August that were shared with the Examiner a few weeks prior to normal public release, that has not been indicated whatsoever by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who remained adamant this past week that the president's policies are working as intended.
"The president has done more to secure the border and to deal with this issue of immigration than anybody else. He really has," she reportedly said.
And, during Wednesday's press briefing, in response to complaints from the New York City mayor about the constant flow of migrants, Jean-Pierre falsely proclaimed, "We are stopping the flow at the border," and added a moment later that "the President has put a plan that is -- indeed, the data is showing is -- that it is indeed stopping, slowing down the flow of unlawful migration."
That said, if the White House is ignorant of the apparent delayed surge of migrants at the border, it would seem that the Defense Department may have an inkling of what is actually occurring, as NBC News reported Friday that the Pentagon has extended the deployment of hundreds of active-duty military troops at the southern border for at least another month.
It was in early May, in anticipation of a post-Title 42 migrant surge, that 1,500 active-duty U.S. troops were deployed for 90 days to the border to provide assistance to CBP and Border Patrol.
When that deployment ended in early August, around 1,100 of those troops were released to return to their normal duties while around 400 had their deployment extended through the end of that month and have now been extended again for another month.
A spokesperson for DHA told NBC News, "DHS appreciates the extension of 400 DOD personnel who are providing support at the southwest border. The support personnel are critical so that CBP agents and officers can get out in the field to securely, safely, and humanely manage the southwest border."