President Joe Biden has been widely criticized for his failure to curb a wave of illegal immigration at the U.S.–Mexico border — but a curious move by the White House could mean the problem is even worse than many fear.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, better known as ICE, did not release its annual report by the end of last year, and now, some Republican lawmakers are suggesting it’s part of a cover-up by the Biden administration.
The Free Beacon said this marks the first time in a decade that ICE has failed to issue its year-end report on time, and it remains unclear whether the document has even been completed.
Biden admin “intentionally hiding” report?
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley (R) has made clear that he believes that the Biden administration’s slow approach to releasing data on illegal immigration could well be part of a broader plan.
“During record-breaking levels of illegal immigration, DHS [the Department of Homeland Security] and ICE have taken steps to dismantle interior enforcement operations that keep our communities safe from criminal aliens,” Hawley told the Free Beacon.
“I’ve been calling for transparency into these radical policy changes for months,” the Republican senator insisted.
“If ICE is intentionally hiding their annual report from the public, then it’s safe to assume it doesn’t show any improvement; it shows failure,” he added.
Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson (R) sounded a similar note. He told the Free Beacon that the administration’s failure to live up to their “responsibility to publish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Annual Report” is “shameful.”
Jackson went on to rail against the president, alleging that his “open border agenda has caused and exacerbated the worst border crisis we’ve ever seen and Biden is doing everything he can to cover it up.”
Massive spike in illegal crossings
Also speaking up was Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls, who complained:
On Day One of his presidency, [Biden] dismantled President Trump’s highly successful policies and look at the results: nearly two million illegal crossings from over 100 different countries, more fentanyl deaths than car crashes, and rampant crime across the country.
Although a comprehensive report has yet to be released, the Department of Homeland Security has released preliminary monthly data, and it paints a bleak picture.
Fox News reported last month that illegal crossings in Texas’ Del Rio region were up 200% in November 2021 compared to the same period the year prior.