Since President Joe Biden took office and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas altered federal immigration policies, roughly 5 million people from over 150 countries have entered the U.S. illegally, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data and border agents who provide “gotaway” numbers to The Center Square.
“Gotaways” is the term CBP uses for those who’ve intentionally entered the U.S. illegally and evaded law enforcement who haven’t made asylum or immigration claims. While CBP collects “gotaway” data, it does not report that information publicly. The Center Square obtains that information from border agents themselves.
The 5 million figure includes 3.9 million who have been apprehended entering the U.S. illegally nationwide and 3.4 million at the southern border. It also includes a minimum of 900,000 gotaways though that number is likely higher, Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officials have told The Center Square.
The estimated 5 million are now greater than the individual populations of 25 states – up from 23 states reported in June.
They are greater than the estimated populations of Louisiana (4.6 million), Kentucky (4.5 million), Oregon (4.3 million), Oklahoma (4 million), Connecticut (3.6 million), Utah (3.3 million), Iowa (3.2 million), Nevada (3.1 million), Arkansas (3 million), Mississippi (2.9 million), Kansas (2.9 million), New Mexico (2.1 million), Nebraska (1.9 million), Idaho (1.89 million), West Virginia (1.7 million), Hawaii (1.4 million), New Hampshire (1.3 million), Maine (1.3 million), Rhode Island (1.1 million), Montana (1.1 million), Delaware (1 million), South Dakota (901,000), North Dakota (800,000), Alaska (738,000), Vermont (646,000) and Wyoming (579,000).
They are greater than the populations of all of the largest cities in the U.S. excluding New York City based on 2022 data. The number of people who have illegally entered the U.S. and been apprehended, released or missed total more than the individual populations of Los Angeles (4 million), Chicago (2.6 million), Houston (2.3 million), Phoenix (1.7 million), Philadelphia (1.5 million), San Antonio (1.5 million), San Diego (1.4 million), Dallas (1.4 million) and San Jose (1 million).
They also total more than the individual estimated populations of 100 countries and territories, including Ireland (4.9 million), New Zealand (4.8 million), Panama (4.3 million), Kuwait (4.2 million), Uruguay (3.4 million), Qatar (2.8 million) and many others.
In the first 10 months of fiscal 2022, more foreign nationals were apprehended illegally entering the U.S. than all who were in fiscal 2021.
July’s numbers of roughly 200,000 officially reported by CBP, but believed to be over 256,000 according to Border Patrol sources, was the 17th consecutive month of more than 150,000 people being encountered at the southern border.
Also in July, CBP reports that 10 people on the FBI’s terror watch list were apprehended between ports of entry, meaning they were considered gotaways evading law enforcement. This brings the total number of apprehended terrorists on the FBI watch list to 66 for the current fiscal year.
While the Biden administration continues to maintain it’s deporting people under the Title 42 public health authority, in July, CBP expelled only 37% of foreign nationals illegally entering the U.S., a 7% drop compared to June.