(The Center Square) – Over 175,000 people came through the southern border in June, according to newly published U.S. Customs and Border Protection data and preliminary data first published by The Center Square.
The official CBP data published on Tuesday isn’t as straightforward as it normally is, possibly due to a recent shakeup at CBP with outgoing chiefs leaving June 30. A press release issued on Tuesday doesn’t include data typically published every month.
The press release states apprehensions at the southwest border totaled 144,607 in June, including CBP One App appointments. It also states 99,545 illegal foreign nationals were encountered between ports of entry at the Southwest border last month. It excludes Office of Field Operations apprehension data and demographics of those coming through.
In order to obtain this data, it has to be searched for on a separate page on the CBP website. OFO apprehensions last month, for example, were 110,958. That’s more than double June 2022 data, which was 54,496. It’s also nearly four times greater than what it was in June 2021, with 28,927, and about six times greater than it was in June 2020 at 19,048.
Despite some officials and media pundits claiming the majority of illegal foreign nationals coming through the southern border are family units, CBP data show the majority are single adults. Fiscal year to date, nearly 1.2 million were single adults; 494,797 were individuals in family units; 98,659 were unaccompanied single minors; 2,084 were unaccompanied minors.
Every month, officially reported CBP data is higher than the preliminary data first reported by The Center Square. This is because CBP data includes OFO data and preliminary data only includes Border Patrol and gotaway data. CBP doesn’t publish gotaway data. The Center Square exclusively receives this information from a Border Patrol agent who provides it on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “Gotaways” is the official CBP term that refers to those who illegally enter between ports of entry, don’t return to Mexico, and actively avoid getting caught.
CBP’s official total of 144,607 apprehensions last month is slightly higher than the preliminary data The Center Square first published of at least 102,641 apprehensions and at least 32,840 gotaways.
The official number of 144,607, combined with at least 32,840 gotaways much lower than normal, puts a minimum total of at least 177, 447 coming through the southern border in June. Border Patrol agents and other officials have told The Center Square the number is likely higher because fewer agents are in the field to track, apprehend or report gotaways.
While CBP claims “these are the lowest monthly Southwest border encounter numbers since February 2021,” former CBP acting director Mark Morgan told The Center Square the numbers are a shell game.
“As the Border Patrol apprehensions go down [between ports of entry], the encounters at Office of Field Operations are skyrocketing,” he said. “OFO apprehensions alone are on pace for one million encounters this fiscal year, a 300% increase from fiscal 2020.”
Another apparent inconsistency is how CBP is reporting CBP One App data. Of the 144,607 apprehended, it states 45,062 had CBP One appointments. It also states that over 38,000 people who scheduled appointments through the One App—seeking entry regardless if their asylum or other immigration claims are valid—were released into the U.S.
It also states that, from January to June of this year, over 170,000 people applied for entry using the CBP One App who arrived at ports of entry. The majority using the app were Haitians, Mexicans and Venezuelans—nationalities previously restricted from entry.
It doesn’t state that the increase at ports of entry is due to a new DHS policy that allows up to 30,000 people from four countries to enter the U.S. every month, or 120,000 a month total. They are given two-year visas—regardless of the veracity of their claim and a court date to meet with an immigration judge scheduled 3-4 years in the future.
On July 1, CBP announced it was expanding the number of available app appointments for illegal foreign nationals from 1,250 to 1,450 a day, up from 1,000 a day earlier in the year.
Since January 2021, over 8 million people have been reported illegally entering the U.S. nationwide—more than the individual populations of 38 states.
The numbers are expected to increase through another new DHS parole program already underway designed to bring in millions more people into the U.S.