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Over 240,000 illegal border crossers in October, highest on record for the month

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(The Center Square) – More than 240,000 people were apprehended illegally crossing the border in October, the highest on record for the month of October in recorded history.

The number does not include gotaways, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not publicly release but The Center Square exclusively obtains from a border agent. The October number is likely to rise significantly when the gotaway data becomes available. Gotaways is the official CBP term for those who illegally entered between ports of entry, intentionally sought to evade capture, and don’t return to Mexico.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has blamed the previous administration for inheriting a broken immigration system, but his and the Biden administration’s policies led to more than 10 million illegal border crossers since January 2021, critics argue. Calls for Mayorkas’ impeachment have escalated as new record numbers of illegal border crossers are reported each month.

In October, there were 240,988 total southwest border encounters, according to CBP data. Also last month, CBP officials processed for entry into the U.S. over 44,000 people using the CBP One App. The mobile app, CBP says, “remains a key component of DHS’s efforts to incentivize noncitizens to use lawful, safe, and orderly pathways and disincentivize attempts to cross between ports of entry.”

Since January, nearly 324,000 people have scheduled appointments and arrived at ports of entry using the app to be released into the U.S., CBP says. The top nationalities using the app are Venezuelans, Mexicans and Haitians.

The majority that came through last month, more than 51%, were single adults, totaling over 123,000. Roughly 44% were individuals presenting as a family unit, totaling over 106,000. Nearly 5% were unaccompanied minors, totaling over 11,500.

While Texas sectors have traditionally had the highest numbers, in the first month in fiscal 2024, Tucson Sector reported the highest number of Border Patrol apprehensions of 55,224. The next highest apprehensions reported by Border Patrol agents were in Texas: Del Rio Sector (38,211) and Rio Grande Valley Sector (32,107).

The majority of the single adults came from “Other” countries. Traditionally, CBP has categorized the countries of origin of illegal border crossers based on volume, officials have explained to The Center Square. Initially, Mexico, or “other than Mexico,” were the main categories; then Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The category of “Other” is now used as a catch-all category for citizens who are now coming from over 170 countries.

The overwhelming majority of illegal border crossers, as it has been nearly every month in recent history, have fallen into the “Other” category. October was no exception, with over 92,000 coming from countries all over the world. Mexicans accounted for the second-highest number of people coming through due to a policy change implemented by the Biden administration. The next highest numbers came from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

If the October numbers continue along the same trajectory, fiscal 2024 could have higher numbers than fiscal 2023. In fiscal 2023, nearly 4 million people were reported illegally entering the U.S. nationwide – the highest number in U.S. history. The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through the following Sept. 30.

Over 10 million have illegally entered since January 2021, including gotaways, The Center Square first reported.

There have been roughly 1.7 million gotaways reported since January 2021, although this number is estimated to be closer to 2 million, The Center Square first reported.

Among them was a record high number of 736 known, suspected terrorists apprehended in fiscal 2023 alone, the highest in recorded history. The majority, 66%, were apprehended at the northern border, The Center Square first reported.

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