Most illegal border crossers apprehended at northern border in US history

(The Center Square) – In the first quarter of fiscal 2024, more foreign nationals were apprehended illegally entering the northern border than at any time in U.S. history.

They totaled 60,602, according to new data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

By comparison, 55,726 were apprehended at the northern border in Q1 FY23, 23,925 were apprehended in Q1 FY22, and 11,836 were apprehended in Q1 FY21.

In the three years under the Biden administration, northern border apprehensions increased 412%.

These numbers exclude gotaways, those who illegally enter between ports of entry to evade capture and aren’t caught by law enforcement.

In the busiest northern sector of Swanton, for example, Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 6,700 foreign nationals from 76 countries and reported at least 3,745 gotaways in fiscal 2023, The Center Square exclusively reported. In this one sector, gotaways totaled more than half of apprehensions.

Those illegally entering the sector were primarily from Mexico (49%), nationalities from all over the world (18%), India (14%), Venezuela (10%), Haiti (5%), and Romania (4%), according to sector data.

As is the case nationwide, the greatest number of illegal entries in Q1 FY24 were of single adults, 47,257, primarily military age men. The ones captured in person or on camera are seen wearing camouflage, hoodies, and masks to hide their identity as they run through wooded forest to evade capture.

The next greatest number apprehended were individuals claiming to be in family units, totaling 13,037. Border Patrol agents have no way to determine if family units are actually related to each other since the Biden administration stopped doing DNA testing.

The U.S.-Canada border is the longest international border in the world totaling 5,525 miles. Unlike the U.S.-Mexico border, there are no border walls or similar barriers separating the U.S. from Canada. Most of the northern U.S.-Canada border is demarcated by rivers, lakes, mountains, ravines and forests. In heavily trafficked areas, Border Patrol agents have erected concrete barricades and boulders to act as a deterrent.

With fewer Border Patrol agents in the field able to apprehend illegal border crossers, it’s unknown how many gotaways get through, including potential terrorists, officials have warned.

The greatest number of known or suspected terrorists continue to be apprehended at the northern border, outpacing those apprehended at the southwest border for years.

Fiscal year to date, 90 KSTs were apprehended at the northern border compared to 54 at the southwest border, according to CBP data.

In fiscal 2023, 736 KSTs were apprehended nationwide – the greatest number in recorded U.S. history. The significant majority – 66%, or 487– were apprehended at the northern border.

The Terrorist Screening Dataset is the federal database that contains sensitive information on terrorist identities. It originated as a consolidated terrorist watchlist “to house information on known or suspected terrorists but evolved over the last decade to include additional individuals who represent a potential threat to the United States, including known affiliates of watchlisted individuals,” CBP explains.

Last fall, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, sounded the alarm about unprecedented illegal entries saying, “It is painfully clear that with Joe Biden’s open border policies, our country is really at an increased threat for a terrorist attack.”

He did so on the same day FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the U.S. Senate about increased terrorist threats facing Americans.

Another northern border Republican, Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming, said Tuesday night that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the first sitting cabinet member to be impeached in U.S. history, “willfully disregarded his oath to uphold our laws and repeatedly lied to Congress about his role in the border crisis and censorship of US citizens.” Hageman was appointed as one of the House impeachment managers by the Speaker of the House.

Mayorkas created the greatest national security crisis since 9/11, members of the House Committee on Homeland Security, retired FBI counterintelligence officials, sheriffs, Republican members of Congress, and more than half of U.S. governors, have all argued, warning that a terrorist threat is imminent because Mayorkas has failed to secure the U.S. borders.

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