Southern border migrant encounters decrease slightly but gotaways still surge under Biden

The U.S. Border Patrol recorded ar decline in migrant encounters in April, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a news release Wednesday.

In April, the Border Patrol recorded 128,900 encounters between ports of entry along the southwest border. The figure was 30% lower than in April 2023, and 6% lower than in March.

“CBP continues to surge resources and personnel to impacted sectors along the border to ensure the safe, swift, and orderly processing of individuals to maximize expedited removals,” Troy Miller, a senior official performing the duties of the commissioner, said in a statement.

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Despite the decline, separate figures obtained by Fox News revealed there were 1.6 million known gotaways from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal year 2023. In the decade of FY 2010 through FY 2020, under former Presidents Obama and Trump, authorities recorded more than 1.4 million known gotaways.

Known gotaways are illegal immigrants seen or detected via cameras, sensors, footings, etc., but are never apprehended.

“If a person is willing to put themselves into harm’s way crossing through very remote, very dangerous conditions to evade capture, you have to ask yourself why. What makes them willing to take that risk?” Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens asked a House committee in May 2023. 

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“That’s of concern to me. What’s also of concern to me is I don’t know who that individual is,” he added. “I don’t know where they came from. I don’t know what their intention is. I don’t know what they brought with them. That unknown represents a risk, a threat. It’s of great concern to anybody that wears this uniform.”

In April, CBP processed 41,400 people through appointments at ports of entry submitted on the CBP One app, authorities said. Since the app was introduced in January 2023, more than 591,000 people have scheduled appointments to present at ports of entry, CBP said. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has been heavily criticized for the record numbers of migrants entering the U.S., has previously noted changes in migration flow in correspondence with Congress.

“Before 2013, the majority of individuals attempting to cross the border entered without being caught,” he said in a letter in January to the House Homeland Security Committee. “Under this administration, the estimated annual apprehension rate has averaged 78%, the same average rate of apprehension as in the prior administration.”

Fox News Digital’s Adam Shaw and Bill Melugin contributed to this report. 

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