According to several sources from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), encounters with migrants at the southern border have surpassed one million for Fiscal Year 2023, which is an unprecedented rate, Fox News informed.
As of Friday, there have been a total of 1,008,217 encounters since October, with 87.8% being single adults. Only 328,454 were expelled under Title 42, which is the pandemic-era protocol that permits the rapid expulsion of border crossers by border agents.
In contrast, there were over 1.7 million encounters in FY 2021 and more than 2.3 million in FY 2022. The first few months of FY 2023 have surpassed those of the previous fiscal year.
At the same time, there have been 328,454 known “gotaways,” which refers to illegal immigrants who have avoided Border Patrol agents but have been detected via another type of surveillance. In FY 2022, there were almost 600,000 gotaways.
The Biden administration has noted a substantial decline in numbers from the historic high of 251,000 in December to around 156,000 in January, notwithstanding the high number of interactions. Officials linked the decline to a number of policies implemented by the administration last month, including a humanitarian parole program that allows 30,000 migrants from four nationalities into the country each month, despite the fact that this figure is the highest on record for the month of January.
According to CBP sources, preliminary data for February’s numbers indicates that interactions are down once further and may fall at or below the 150,000 threshold once all data has been tallied. There were 166,000 migrant interactions in February of last year.
Reaching the one million mark so early in the fiscal year has raised concerns among some agents that if the numbers continue to rise in the spring, as they often do, it could result in even more unprecedented figures.
According to an agent who spoke with Fox News, agency leadership and the administration are likely to celebrate the two months of lower numbers rather than acknowledge the challenging reality of dealing with yet another preventable crisis at the border.