August border encounters of more than 322,000 highest monthly total in U.S. history
Total encounters reported at both the northern and southwest land borders in August was 304,162, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. It is the greatest total number of illegal entries of any month in recorded U.S. history, according to CBP data.
Total encounter data excludes nearly 30,000 gotaways at the southwest border reported by Border Patrol agents last month. It excludes gotaways reported by Office of Field Operations agents at the southwest border and all gotaway data from the northern border.
Gotaways is the official CBP term for foreign nationals who illegally enter between ports of entry and don’t return to Mexico or Canada. CBP doesn’t publicly release this data. The Center Square receives preliminary gotaway data from a Border Patrol agent on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.
More than 1.6 million gotaways have been reported illegally entering at the southern border alone since January 2021.
Many news outlets reported more than 230,000 encounters were reported by CBP at the southwest border in August. However, when preliminary gotaway data is included, the number increased to over 261,000 illegal border crossers, The Center Square previously reported.
By comparison, more than 251,521 illegal total border crossers were reported in August 2022, up from 231,243 in August 2021 and 65,707 in August 2020, excluding gotaways.
The next highest monthly total of illegal border crossers after August 2023 was 284,665 in November 2022.
Fiscal year to date, nearly 2.9 million total illegal border crossers have been encountered, according to CBP data, the highest number in U.S. history. The data was last updated Sept. 6. and excludes gotaways.
In fiscal 2022, the number was over 2.76 million; in fiscal 2021, over 1.95 million; and in fiscal 2020, 646,822.
The majority of illegal border crossers are single adults, according to CBP data. The greatest number apprehended was in fiscal 2022 of 1,993,694. The next highest number was 1,876,266 apprehended this fiscal year to date, which ends Sept. 30.
In fiscal 2021, 1,321,674 single adults were encountered compared to 536,792 in fiscal 2020.
The next greatest number of illegal border crossers by demographic are individuals claiming to be in a family unit. This fiscal year to date they total 853,687. They totaled 614,023 in fiscal 2022; 483,846 in fiscal 2021; and 74,960 in fiscal 2020.
Among the third greatest demographic, unaccompanied children/single minors, 152,880 were encountered in fiscal 2022. In fiscal 2021, 147,975 were encountered; in fiscal year to date, 124,221 were encountered. In fiscal 2020, 34,126 unaccompanied minors were encountered.