In a report published by the House Committee on Homeland Security, 2023 is labeled as the worst year on record at the U.S. border, with an astounding 3.2 million encounters nationwide. This surge in border encounters has led to concerns about national security and open-border policies, as statistics show a significant increase in illegal immigrant encounters at both the Southwest and Northern borders.
The report reveals that encounters at the Southwest border (SWB) during fiscal year 2023 increased by over 40% compared to fiscal year 2021, with a 4% rise when compared to fiscal year 2022. It is noteworthy that this is a 100% increase compared to fiscal year 2019. In total, there were 2.47 million illegal immigrant encounters reported at the southern border in 2023.
Notably, there were an additional 189,402 illegal immigrant encounters at the Northern border during 2023, marking a significant increase of approximately 80,000 encounters since the previous year. This is a remarkable jump from the 27,180 northern border encounters in 2021.
The report underscores the persistent surge in border encounters, showing no signs of subsiding. Data from September 2023 reveals substantial increases in encounters compared to the same month in previous years. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a 40% increase in encounters compared to September 2021 and an 18% increase compared to September 2022. At the Northern border, encounters in September 2023 skyrocketed, marking a 409% increase compared to September 2021 and a 41% increase compared to September 2022.
The report particularly emphasizes the national security threat posed by mass illegal immigration. It states that in fiscal year 2023, 169 individuals whose names appeared on the terrorist watchlist were stopped while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry, marking a 72% increase from fiscal year 2022. Additionally, the report highlights that 18 individuals on the terrorist watchlist were apprehended in September 2023 alone, the most on record.
Furthermore, the report reveals concerning figures related to criminal convictions, including the arrests of 35,433 aliens with criminal convictions or outstanding warrants nationwide. Among those, 598 were known gang members, with 178 belonging to the MS-13 gang. Additionally, Customs and Border Patrol seized over 27,000 pounds of fentanyl coming across the Southwest border, representing an 88% increase from fiscal year 2022. However, federal officials estimate that they can only seize 5-10% of all illegal drugs smuggled across the Southwest border.
“Did you know that in 2022, people from 174 different countries came to our border and were released?”
Biden State Dept official Joseph Salazar: “No”
“Did you know so far in 2023, people from 143 countries have come to our border and been released?”
Salazar: “No” pic.twitter.com/MWfDOeqYkI
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 25, 2023