In a letter to the editor “Cheap Shot at DeSantis” (Oct. 4), the writer included various statistics to buttress his claim that no one cares about the immigration problem at our borders. According to his numbers, 3.88 million “illegal” immigrants entered through our “open” borders.
Without providing details, it is difficult to determine the accuracy of that metric. So, let's start at the source of illegal migrant crossings: the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP); specifically Southwest Land Border Encounters.
An “encounter” occurs when an individual (or family) is apprehended by CBP. According to CBP's statistics, there were 1,734,686 apprehensions in the fiscal year 2021, and 2,150,639 in the fiscal year 2022, for a total of 3,885,325. By the way, the fiscal year 2021 runs from Oct. 2020, through September 2021, so there is some overlap with Trump's term (from October through January or 296,450).
So, we know that the 3.88 million represents approximately two years' worth of data.
During those two fiscal years, the CBP expelled 3,656,975 individuals (and families) under Title 8 (inadmissible: 1,639,219) and Title 42 (public health issue: 2,017,756).
If we subtract the number of expulsions from total apprehensions, we’re left with 228,350 “legal” migrants to be processed for admission, or less than 6%. This is an interesting metric that our letter writer failed to include and indicates that our borders are not "open.”
So those 50 migrants that DeSantis lured to Martha's Vineyard under false promises are legally here. What was illegal was DeSantis using state funds to transport migrants located in Texas with an enticement of jobs and shelter (this amounts to human trafficking).
Using these undocumented asylum seekers like political pawns is both un-American and abhorrent.
And, just to clarify again, contrary to conservative media (and the letter writer), the migrants were provided temporary shelter and food by the residents of Martha's Vineyard prior to relocating to Cape Cod, which has the facilities to accommodate them.
This is just another example of why DeSantis is unfit to govern.