Nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants are known to have slipped past overwhelmed Border Patrol agents since the beginning of fiscal 2023, which began in October, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources tell Fox News.
Sources said there have been 293,993 known “gotaways” who have evaded agents but have been spotted through another form of surveillance since Oct. 1.
That averages out to 2,450 a day in the last 120 days. Sources told Fox News the gotaways are now on pace for unprecedented numbers. And border officials are worried because they don’t know who these people are, where they are from or where they are trying to get to within the U.S. interior.
In fiscal 2022, there were nearly 600,000 gotaways. There were 389,155 gotaways at the border in fiscal 2021, and fiscal 2023 is on track to easily outpace those numbers. Last week, agents told Fox News there have been more than 1.2 million gotaways during the Biden administration.
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Tom Homan, a former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director, told Fox News the number should “scare the hell out of every American” and said there was a reason these migrants are not turning themselves in to Border Patrol to be processed and released into the U.S.
“Why would they not take advantage of the program? Because they don’t want to be fingerprinted, and there’s a reason for that.
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“These are gang members. These are going to be sexual predators. These are going to be criminals. These are going to be people carrying fentanyl. Not all of them. But there’s a reason they didn’t turn themselves in to take advantage of the giveaway program of the Biden administration,” he said.
Those numbers come amid historic migrant encounter numbers at the U.S. border, with over 250,000 encounters in December alone, a new record.
The Biden administration has pointed to the unveiling of a new set of border security measures, including a humanitarian parole program for four nationalities combined with expanded Title 42 expulsions and a rule that would make migrants ineligible for asylum if they had passed through a third country but did not claim asylum there.
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That program has gotten heat from both Republicans and Democrats. Democrats and left-wing groups have blasted the asylum ineligibility and Title 42 expansions as eroding the right to asylum.
Twenty Republican states have sued over the parole program, saying it is in breach of the Administrative Procedure Act and goes beyond congressional direction that limits parole to case-by-case situations. They say the 30,000-a-month limit placed on the program by the administration is in violation of those regulations.
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The Biden administration is claiming that the program is working and that encounters of those nationalities have dropped 97% and that January’s encounters are on track to be the lowest since the beginning of the crisis in February 2021.