Record 2,150,639 Encountered Trying to Cross Southwest Border So Far in FY2022

By Susan Jones | September 20, 2022 | 7:26am EDT
Migrants wait to be processed by US Border Patrol after illegally crossing the US-Mexico border in Yuma, Arizona in the early morning of July 11, 2022. (Photo by ALLISON DINNER/AFP via Getty Images)
Migrants wait to be processed by US Border Patrol after illegally crossing the US-Mexico border in Yuma, Arizona in the early morning of July 11, 2022. (Photo by ALLISON DINNER/AFP via Getty Images)

( - "Failing communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration across the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters at the southwest U.S. border," said Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus in a news release announcing yet another month of 200,000-plus foreigners illegally crossing or attempting to cross the southwest border.

So far in Fiscal Year 2022, which ends on September 30, CBP has recorded 2,150,639 "enforcement" actions involving people coming to this country by way of Mexico.

Of the record 2,150,639 enforcement action, 1,997,769 people were encountered crossing illegally between southwest ports of entry. The rest (152,870) were detained by CBP's Office of Field Operations, which includes Customs/ports of entry.

Both numbers will rise when this month's encounters are totaled; and no one knows how many foreigners sneaked in illegally and undetected.

In the month of August alone, Border Patrol agents encountered 181,160 people entering the country illegally between ports of entry at the southwest border. Another 22,437 foreigners presented themselves at ports of entry, for a total of 203,597 "enforcement encounters." That's a 1.7 percent increase compared to the 200,195 encounters in July. (See chart below)

(Source: Customs and Border Protection)
(Source: Customs and Border Protection)

Of the 203,597 migrants encountered in August, 157,921 (77.5 percent) are categorized as "unique" encounters, which means that Border Patrol agents had not detained them in the prior 12 months. Another 22.5 percent were individuals who made repeated attempts to get into this country.

Of the total 157,921 unique encounters, CBP says 55,333 were from Venezuela, Cuba, or Nicaragua, which represents 35 percent of unique encounters for August and a 175-percent increase over a year ago.

Individuals from Mexico and northern Central America (56,979 of them) accounted for 36 percent of unique encounters in August, a decline of 43 percent in unique encounters from those countries compared to August 2021.

So 71 percent, or 112,000 of those unique encounters, are citizens of Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, or Guatemala. But CBP does not offer citizenship information on the other 29 percent (45,609) of unique individuals encountered.

(Source: Customs and Border Protection)
(Source: Customs and Border Protection)

Some illegal border-crossers are turned away, but many of them request asylum and are admitted into the country pending resolution of their requests.

Last month, CBP says 73,153 encounters, 36 percent of the total, were processed for expulsion under Title 42 (COVID/public health) at the southwest land border. (The Biden administration planned to lift Title 42 in May, but a federal judge blocked the move.)

Another 130,445 encounters were processed under Title 8 at the southwest land border. Under Title 8, those who attempt to enter the United States without authorization, and who are unable to establish a legal basis to remain in the United States (such as a valid asylum claim), are subject to removal from the United States. 

Other CBP statistics for the month of August:

-- More than two-thirds (69 percent) of all southwest land border encounters were single adults, with 140,210 encounters in August, a 4.2 percent increase compared to July.

-- Encounters of unaccompanied children decreased 14 percent, with 11,365 encounters in August compared with 13,278 in July. In August, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 422 per day, compared with an average of 562 per day in July.

--Encounters of family unit individuals decreased by one percent from 52,078 in July to 51,725 in August — which is 40 percent decrease from the peak of 86,631 in August 2021.

CBP notes that for this fiscal year to date, repatriations and expulsions total 1,300,467, "which means we have expelled or repatriated a larger number than are still in proceedings," the agency noted. "More individuals encountered at the border will be removed or expelled this year than any previous year."

(But that's because so many more are trying to get in.)

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