Illegal Immigration Hits Record High In May, Early Data Shows

(The Center Square) – Border Patrol agents apprehended 232,628 people entering the southwestern border illegally in May, according to preliminary U.S. Border Patrol data as of June 3. That’s up from 211,972 people in April, also according to preliminary data.

When U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced its official total for April, it reported that federal agents apprehended 234,088 people entering the U.S. illegally, the greatest number in a single month in recorded U.S. history.


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Official May numbers are expected to be even higher.

The Center Square obtained the preliminary data from a Border Patrol officer at the southern border in Texas. It excludes figures from the Office of Field Operations, which will likely make the numbers higher.

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It also includes got-away estimates, which aren’t publicly published in the monthly enforcement reports issued by CBP.

A minimum of 61,609 known and identified “got-aways” were reported in May, according to the preliminary BP data. Got-aways are those who enter the U.S. illegally and evade capture. That’s up from 58,000 in April as The Center Square previously reported. However, this number is anticipated to be much higher, based on how data is recorded.

The BP officer, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, also told The Center Square that got-away numbers are being deleted from the system, or labeled as something else to make it seem like there are fewer.

The southern border sectors that saw the most traffic last month, as in nearly all months, were in Texas in the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio sectors.

The numbers are broken down by BP sector and categories, including apprehensions, turn backs, non-violations, outstanding, no-arrests, got aways (known/recorded), and deceased.

RGV Sector

Apps – 46,527
TBs – 4,284
Got Aways (known/recorded) – 4,378
Unresolved Detection – 133
No Arrest – 2,887
Deceased – 15
Non-violation – 261
Outstanding – 18
Del Rio Sector

Apps – 45,662
TBs – 193
Got Aways (known/recorded) – 15,006
Unresolved Detection – 168
No Arrest – 3,736
Deceased -26
Non-violation -176
Outstanding -58
Yuma Sector

Apps – 36,568
TBs – 204
Got Aways (known/recorded) – 3,007
Unresolved Detection – 20
No Arrest – 62
Deceased – 9
Non-violation -54
Outstanding – 63
El Paso Sector

Apps – 35,650
TBs – 3,104
Got Aways (known/recorded) – 9,856
Unresolved Detection – 31
No Arrest – 225
Deceased -0
Non-violation -104
Outstanding -25
Tucson Sector

Apps – 27,554
TBs – 995
Got Aways (known/recorded) – 18,612
Unresolved Detection – 1,655
No Arrest – 3,344
Deceased – 12
Non-violation – 202
Outstanding – 399
San Diego Sector

Apps – 17,797
TBs – 756
Got Aways (known/recorded) -5,437
Unresolved Detection – 4
No Arrest – 5,301
Deceased – 1
Non-violation – 7
Outstanding – 150
Laredo Sector

Apps – 12,297
TBs – 2,601
Got Aways (known/recorded) – 3,113
Unresolved Detection – 45
No Arrest – 1,134
Deceased – 11
Non-violation – 246
Outstanding – 0
El Centro Sector

Apps – 7,264
TBs – 407
Got Aways (known/recorded) – 679
Unresolved Detection – 4
No Arrest – 5
Deceased – 0
Non-violation – 2
Outstanding – 5
Big Bend Sector

Apps – 3,309
TBs – 54
Got Aways (known/recorded) – 1,521
Unresolved Detection – 41
No Arrest – 184
Deceased – 5
Non-violation – 22
Outstanding – 69
Apprehensions include those in the U.S. illegally who surrender or are caught by BP officers. Turn backs include those who entered illegally but returned to Mexico.

The categories of “no arrests” and “unresolved detection” aren’t part of 6 U.S. Code, which classifies how encounters are to be reported. These categories are used as a way to lower the number of got-aways being reported, the BP officer says.

No arrests mean someone “was detected in a non-border zone and their presence didn’t affect Got-Away statistics,” according to the official internal tracking system definition used by agents to record data. “Unresolved detection” means the same thing, but the officers, for a range of reasons, couldn’t determine citizenship.

Non-violations are “deemed to have committed no infraction and don’t affect Got-Away statistics,” according to the tracking system definition.

The categories of non-violations, no arrests and unresolved detection should actually be categorized as got-aways, the BP officer says, assuming all non-arrests were of non-citizens.

Preliminary data in other sectors show more than 1,600 people were apprehended in May, with Miami apprehending the most.

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