CBP Posts Record Number of Border Encounters in August
FAIR Take | Septemeber 2023
On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released new data showing the number of illegal aliens encountered at our borders hit a record high in August. The numbers underscore that the border crisis continues despite the President boasting of new policies, which were no more than a plan to funnel and process illegal aliens through ports of entry. The number of encounters in August totaled 304,162, up from 245,286 encounters in July. So far in fiscal year 2023, more than 2,860,127 illegal aliens have been encountered at our borders.
The August numbers were released just a day after statements from the president’s spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, that the surge at the border is simply a result of “seasonal trends.” She shrugged off criticism, suggesting that there is no border crisis and the numbers naturally “ebb and flow.”
The August numbers tell a different story than what is being spewed at the White House podium, however. The number of border encounters this year (with one month to go in the fiscal year) dramatically surpasses previous years. For example, in 2013, there were nearly 421,000 encounters at the border (including Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations). Under President Biden this year, there have been just over 2.86 million encounters – a 580 percent increase in ten years.
The August numbers from DHS also set other records. For example:
- The number of family units encountered at the southwest border more than doubled between June (55,918) to August (116,721); the August total was the monthly total in at least the past five years.
- Encounters of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) and single minors totaled 14,259, up from 10,641 in July—the highest on record for fiscal year 2023.
- CBP has seized more than 25,500 pounds of fentanyl so far in this fiscal year, compared to 12,800 pounds over the same period in fiscal year 2022.
- More than 45,500 inadmissible aliens were processed by CBP at ports of entry appointments on the CBP One app.
Responding to the record-high numbers, FAIR President Dan Stein said, “While the administration has refused to even admit there is a crisis at the border, the growing numbers of migrants entering illegally and the impact that they are having on communities all across the country can now be categorized as a disaster. It is a disaster created and perpetuated by the policies of the Biden administration. President Biden has not taken historic action to secure the border. He has taken illegal actions of historic proportions to throw open the borders.”
As the Biden Border Crisis rages, Congress is also debating how to fund the federal government, including the Department of Homeland Security. There are 10 days until the end of the fiscal year, and if Congress does not pass a spending package, the government will shut down and only essential workers will be allowed to report to duty.
FAIR continues to work with congressional leaders and urge them to include real border security solutions, including funding for a wall and other physical barriers, limits on our asylum and parole laws, robust interior enforcement and an end to catch-and-release. To view our toolkit and summaries of the appropriations bills, please visit here.