Administration Determined to Break All Records: 3.2 Million People Encountered Illegally Entering the U.S. in FY 2023

Final figures are in for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, and the totals are astonishing. In total, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded 3,201,144 encounters along the borders during the fiscal year that ended on September 30. That figure represents an increase of 434,625 over FY 2022 and a fivefold increase over FY 2020, the last full year of the Trump administration.

September alone set a new monthly record for illegal entries with 341,392 encounters – eclipsing the previous record set only a month earlier. If that trend were to continue through the new fiscal year, total encounters for FY 2024 would top 4 million. These numbers are the results of open-borders policies that invite everyone in and orders for law enforcement to stand down to make sure they stay.

The stark statistics from FY 2023 speak for themselves:

  • 3,201,144 total encounters – a new record.
  • 2,475,669 encounters at the Southwest border – a new record.
  • 189,402 encounters at the Northern border – a new record.
  • 2,063,692 Border Patrol encounters of people crossing between ports of entry.
  • 1,137,452 Office of Field Operation encounters of illegal aliens attempting to enter at ports of entry – a new record.
  • 908,669 illegal aliens released into the U.S. by the Border Patrol including more than 150,000 in September alone.
  • 736 encounters of individuals on the terror watchlist – a new record.
  • 1.7 million known ‘gotaways’ since President Biden came to office, and at least 769,174 during FY 2023.

The administration continues to insist that record levels of illegal immigration are due to causes beyond its control. “Separately, economic, political and climate instability exacerbated in the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic is fueling the greatest level of global migration since World War II, particularly in our hemisphere,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas wrote in a national paper.

The DHS head explained that they are working with partners overseas to stem the flow while “expanding lawful pathways for migration and accelerating work permits….” Could it be that the use of “lawful pathways” that have no basis in law or the provision of American jobs to illegal aliens creates an incentive to encourage more to make the attempt? Or could it be because that the overall policies are actually designed to fail?

FAIR is demanding action from Congress to enact major legislation early in 2024 while empowering activists nationwide in furthering their understanding of the causes and remedies needed to stop this misfeasance in Washington undermining our borders and our laws.


Media Director. Ira joined FAIR in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant, and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


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EDITORS NOTE: This FAIR column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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