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One Worrying Number About the Border Crisis You Never Hear About

Media reports and critics of the Biden administration focus on the number of migrant encounters reported by the border patrol — but that doesn’t include the number of border crossers who got away.

SO WHAT

The figures you hear often understate the extent of the border crisis by about a quarter — or the population of a mid-sized American city.

THE NUMBER

Roughly 600,000 migrants have succeeded in crossing the southern border illegally without being apprehended during the twelve-month period ending in September 2022, according to figures provided to Fox News by Customs and Border Protection officials and publicized over the weekend.

If you gathered the “gotaways” in one place, their population would rank among the 30 largest cities in the country.

  • The 2022 fiscal year number of “gotaways” is up 54% from 2021’s total of 389,000, bringing the total for the last two years to around a million.
  • Overall CBP has apprehended a total of around 1.6 million individuals in around 2.5 million encounters in 2022, including repeat crossers, the vast majority along the southern border.
  • By excluding “gotaways” the CBP apprehensions understate the number of people actually crossing the border by 27.5%.

A 2021 study by researchers at Yale and MIT determined only 68% of migrants are actually apprehended.

  • Officials estimate the number of “gotaways” with a combination of human observation, video surveillance and motion sensors, footprints, and interviews with apprehended migrants.

WHY WE SHOULD FIX IT

The increased threat Americans face from fentanyl and terrorists has made border security a more urgent concern.

  • While most fentanyl seizures occur at official ports of entry, a growing proportion have been made by border patrol agents between ports of entry, that is, in the same terrain traversed by migrants.
  • More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, with 66% of those deaths coming from synthetic opioids, mostly fentanyl.
  • 78 individuals with names matching the FBI’s terror watch list were apprehended at the southern border in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2022, a more than fivefold increase over the previous year.

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