U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released operational statistics Saturday for fiscal year 2023 showing just over two million total apprehensions of illegal aliens within the last 12 months.
From Oct. 1, 2022, to Sept. 30, 2023, CBP reports a total of 2,063,692 enforcement actions against migrants entering the country illegally — just shy of the 2.2 million apprehensions during FY 2022.
Apprehensions refer to the temporary detainment and processing of migrants who are not lawfully in the U.S. which may or may not result in an arrest.
Those two million enforcement actions do not include migrants who entered the U.S. through an official port of entry or who claim legal status under certain parole programs expanded by the Biden Administration.
That cohort accounts for another approximately 1.1 million migrants entering the country.
Through the end of September 2023, over 240,000 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans were granted parole under the expanded parole program announced by President Joe Biden in January.
In September alone, U.S. Border Patrol recorded over 218,000 encounters between ports of entry along the southwest border.
“In response to high rates of encounters across the southwest border in September, CBP surged resources and personnel,” Troy A. Miller, a senior CBP official, said in a Saturday press release. “CBP will continue to remain vigilant, making operational adjustments as necessary and enforcing consequences under U.S. immigration law.”
“The supplemental funding request announced yesterday would provide critically needed additional resources including additional CBP agents and officers to support our essential missions: from border and migration management, to countering fentanyl and keeping dangerous drugs out of our communities,” Miller said.
On Friday the Biden Administration requested funding from Congress to hire 1,300 additional Border Patrol agents for FY 2024, 375 additional immigration judge teams, 1,000 CBP officers aimed at countering fentanyl trafficking, and 1,600 asylum officers to speed up the processing of asylum claims.
The Biden Administration also requested funds to award additional grants to local governments and non-profits to give migrants recently released from DHS custody food and shelter, and is working to expand lawful pathways of entry for refugees and migrants seeking to enter the U.S.
The CBP report does not include the number of “gotaways” — those migrants entering the country illegally who managed to successfully sneak past Border Patrol agents, though in May then-CBP Chief Raul Ortiz estimated that there had been 530,000 “gotaways” since the beginning of FY 2023 in October 2022.
The agency also reported the seizure of more than 27,000 pounds of fentanyl in FY 2023 — up from 14,600 in FY 2022 and up more than 800 percent from 2019.
Over the 12 month period, between ports of entry Border Patrol agents encountered a total of 172 non-U.S. citizens who were in the Terrorist Screening Dataset — more commonly referred to as the “watchlist” of known or suspected terrorists and their associates who may pose a potential threat to the U.S.
During that same period, Border Patrol agents encountered 484 individuals of all nationalities on the terror watchlist at ports of entry along the northern border.
According to data uncovered by Fox News earlier this month, thousands of “special interest aliens” from Middle Eastern countries have been stopped at the southern border since 2021, including 6,386 nationals from Afghanistan, 3,153 from Egypt, 659 from Iran, 538 from Syria, and 164 from Lebanon.