The number of illegal border crossers apprehended along the southwest border in the first quarter of fiscal 2024 (Q1 FY24) has reached an all-time high in U.S. history.
The total number of individuals in the group amounted to 785,422, which surpasses the population of three U.S. states: Wyoming (586,485), Vermont (647,818), and Alaska (733,536). Additionally, it is nearly equivalent to the population of North Dakota (788,940).
House Republicans and retired FBI counterintelligence officials have raised concerns about the changes made by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. These changes, which were made without the approval of Congress, have led to an alarming increase in illegal crossings into the United States. The officials argue that these policy changes have created a significant national security threat, as there is no way to verify the identities of the individuals being allowed into the country. As a result, House Republicans are pushing for Mayorkas to be impeached. While the first attempt to impeach him was unsuccessful, they are determined to pursue a second attempt.
According to the latest data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the total number of illegal border crossers apprehended at the southwest border in fiscal year 2024, which started on October 1, 2023, has reached record highs for each month and the entire quarter. This marks the highest level of apprehensions in U.S. history. The data was last updated on January 4th.
In the first quarter of FY24, the number of apprehensions at the southwest border saw a significant increase. In October, there were a total of 240,981 apprehensions, followed by 242,407 in November and 302,034 in December.
In the first quarter of FY23, the number of apprehensions at the southwest border showed an increase. In October, there were 231,529 apprehensions, followed by 235,173 in November, and 252,315 in December.
In the first quarter of FY22, the number of apprehensions at the southwest border saw a steady increase. In October, the total apprehensions reached 164,837, followed by 174,845 in November, and a further increase to 179,253 in December.
During the first quarter of FY21, the number of apprehensions at the southwest border showed a slight increase. In October, the total was 71,929, followed by 72,113 in November, and 73,994 in December.
In the current administration, similar to previous months and years, the majority of illegal border crossers consist of single adults. During the first quarter of FY24, there were over 413,000 single adult apprehensions, making up 52% of all illegal entries. To put it into perspective, this number is almost equivalent to the population of Wyoming.
Texas Border Czar Mike Banks informed The Center Square that as Texas strengthens its border security measures to prevent illegal entry, the activities of cartels have been pushed towards Democratic-led states that have not adopted similar tactics like Texas.
According to the statement, Texas is responsible for 30% of the total illegal border crossings happening today. The remaining 70% of these crossings occur in Arizona, California, and New Mexico. The reason behind this distribution is the lack of resistance in these states compared to Texas.
Texas has historically faced a significant challenge when it comes to illegal border crossings due to its extensive 1,254-mile border with Mexico. Among its five CBP sectors, the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio sectors have consistently reported the highest numbers.
Tucson has experienced a significant increase in volume, surpassing other locations. San Diego has also seen a rise in numbers.
The number of apprehensions in Tucson has significantly increased, according to CBP data. In the first quarter of FY24, there were a total of 200,048 apprehensions, which is a 192% increase compared to the 68,480 apprehensions recorded in the first quarter of FY23.
In the San Diego Sector, the number of apprehensions in Q1 FY24 increased by 77%, reaching a total of 95,439, compared to 53,677 in Q1 FY23.
In the first quarter of fiscal year 2024, Border Patrol agents in the Del Rio Sector witnessed a significant increase in apprehensions. The number of apprehensions reached a record high of 152,252, surpassing the previous year’s figure of 142,664.
Other sectors in Texas experienced a decline over the same time period, although their historical levels remained relatively high.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector witnessed a decrease in apprehensions from 84,311 in Q1 FY23 to 69,092 in Q1 FY24.
According to the data, there was a significant decrease in apprehensions in the El Paso Sector, dropping from 142,664 in Q1 FY23 to 78,481 in Q1 FY24. Similarly, Laredo saw a decrease from 13,674 to 7,904, while Big Bend’s apprehensions dropped from 4,017 to 1,227.
In the first quarter of fiscal 2024, Tucson reported the highest number of apprehensions among the nine southwest CBP sectors. It was followed by Del Rio, San Diego, El Paso, Rio Grande Valley, Yuma, Laredo, El Centro, and Big Bend.
According to previous reports by The Center Square, it is estimated that the number of known and reported gotaways, which CBP does not publicly report, has now exceeded two million.
Since January 2021, over 11 million illegal border crossers have been recorded, including Q1 FY24 data.