The number is greater than the individual populations of 22 U.S. states
There were over 3.2 million people who entered the U.S. illegally nationwide in fiscal 2023, the most in recorded U.S. history, according to the latest data published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Combined with gotaway data only reported by Border Patrol agents at the southwest border, illegal border crossers totaled at least 3,970,318 in fiscal 2023.
A total of 3,201,144 people were apprehended illegally entering the U.S. in fiscal 2023, with the greatest number of 341,392 recorded just last month, excluding gotaways, according to official CBP data.
September’s numbers were also the highest number of any month in recorded U.S. history, including those apprehended at the southwest border. The highest number of apprehensions at the northern border were reported in August.
These totals exclude gotaways, which CBP doesn’t publicly report. The Center Square has been reporting gotaway data every month after obtaining the information from a Border Patrol agent on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
“Gotaways” is the official CBP term defining those who illegally enter the U.S. primarily between ports of entry, intentionally seeking to evade capture by law enforcement, and who don’t turn back to Mexico or Canada.
An estimated minimum 769,174 gotaways entered the southwest border in fiscal 2023, according to preliminary Border Patrol data The Center Square obtained. However, based on earlier projections and including Office of Field Operations data, former CBP chief Mark Morgan told The Center Square the gotaway data is likely to reach or exceed one million for fiscal 2023.
It excludes Office of Field Operations data as well as northern border and other sectors that report gotaway data. It also excludes unknown and unreported gotaways, those who illegally entered undetected, meaning the number is believed to be significantly higher. Law enforcement officials have explained that they have no idea how many are in the U.S., where or who they are.
Combining official CBP apprehension data and preliminary Border Patrol southwest border gotaway data, at least a minimum of 3,970,318 people were reported illegally entering the United States in fiscal 2023, the greatest number in U.S. history and in any fiscal year under any administration.
Those apprehended illegally entering the southwest border totaled 2,475,669, excluding gotaways. By comparison, 458,088 were apprehended at the southwest border in fiscal 2020.
People from over 170 countries were reported illegally entering the southwest border.
The northern border also reported the highest number of apprehensions last fiscal year of 189,402, excluding gotaways. By comparison, 27,180 were apprehended there in fiscal 2021.
In the busiest northern border sector of Swanton, which includes three counties in upstate New York, three counties in New Hampshire and all of Vermont, apprehensions totaled more than the previous 11 years combined of over 6,700. Including nearly 4,000 gotaways, illegal border crossers totaled nearly 10,500 in this sector alone in fiscal 2023. Agents reported people came from 76 countries in the Swanton sector.
The overwhelming majority of illegal foreign nationals apprehended nationwide in fiscal 2023 were single adults, totaling 2,061,723. Individuals in family units represented the next largest group of 993,947.
Unaccompanied children/single minors were the third largest group apprehended, totaling 137,992, followed by 7,482 unaccompanied minors.
The nearly 4 million illegal border crossers nationwide total more than the estimated populations of 22 states.
- They edge out the estimated 3.6 million residents of Connecticut, which is the 29th most populated state.
- They total nearly 10% of California’s population.
- They total roughly half of Washington state’s population.
- They’re equivalent to nearly seven Wyomings; over six Vermonts; and over five Alaskas.
- They total nearly four Delawares, the home state of the president.
Among them, CBP agents apprehended the greatest number of known, suspected terrorists, 736, in U.S. history.
CBP agents also apprehended the greatest number of criminal noncitizens in U.S. history totaling nearly 50,000 last fiscal year. This number excludes the tens of thousands of criminal noncitizens arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and an unknown number arrested by local and state law enforcement officers over the same time period.