By Bethany Blankley (The Center Square)
As Democratic governors and mayors urge President Joe Biden to do more as several thousand illegal foreign nationals flood their communities from the southern border, none have experienced even a fraction of the nearly two million people who illegally entered Texas in 12 months.
In fiscal 2023, over 1.9 million people illegally entered Texas, according to official U.S. Customs and Border Protection data and preliminary gotaway data exclusively obtained by The Center Square.
Texas’ over 1.9 million crossings accounts for 48.75% of the nearly 4 million illegal border crossers reported nationwide in fiscal 2023.
At least 1,486,178 people were apprehended by federal agents in Texas, according to official CBP data, including Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations (OFO) data.
There were also at least 449,691 gotaways reported by Border Patrol agents in Texas, according to preliminary data obtained by The Center Square. The gotaway data, which is not released publicly, excludes OFO data.
Combined, these numbers total at least 1,935,869 people who illegally entered Texas in fiscal 2023 – the highest in recorded history and the most of any state by far.
“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. CBP doesn’t publicly report gotaway data. The Center Square has been reporting preliminary gotaway data every month after obtaining it from a Border Patrol agent on condition of an…
Texas’ minimum 449,691 gotaways account for nearly 60% of the minimum 769,174 gotaways who illegally entered the entire southwest border in fiscal 2023, according to the Border Patrol data obtained by The Center Square.
They are included in the roughly 1.7 million gotaways who’ve illegally entered nationwide since President Joe Biden first took office. However, the number is estimated to be closer to 2 million, The Center Square previously reported.
Texas has the greatest number of CBP sectors in the country. Of the 20 CBP sectors in all 50 states and U.S. territories, five are in Texas. From southwest to southeast, they are El Paso, Big Bend, Del Rio, Laredo and Rio Grande Valley (RGV).
Texas also has the greatest number of ports of entry, which fall into two sectors: El Paso and Laredo sectors. Apprehensions by OFO agents working at these ports account for over 59% of apprehensions at all southwest ports of entry.
Historically, Border Patrol agents working in the Del Rio and RGV sectors have reported the greatest number of illegal border crossers and gotaways. But in fiscal 2023, El Paso topped the charts.
Also noteworthy is Border Patrol data from El Paso and Del Rio sectors: reported gotaways totaled roughly half of apprehensions. Border Patrol data in Laredo and Big Bend sectors shows reported gotaways accounted for more than half of their apprehensions.
The outlier is the RGV Sector, which has historically reported numbers rivaling Del Rio’s. But in fiscal 2023, RGV’s gotaway numbers were extraordinarily low. Some agents have told The Center Square the number is really five to six times higher. One reason for the discrepancy is because agents were pulled away from patrolling to process a record number of people. With almost no one in the field, an unknown number of gotways illegally entered.
Related: Nearly 4 Million Illegal Border Crossers In Fiscal 2023
Texas sector apprehensions and gotaways for fiscal 2023 include:
El Paso Sector:
482,088 apprehensions (427,471 BP; 54,617 OFO)/210,641 gotaways
Del Rio Sector:
393,226 BP apprehensions/180,034 gotaways
Rio Grande Valley Sector:
338,337 BP apprehensions/33,648 gotaways
260,704 apprehensions (45,644 BP; 215,060 OFO)/27,287 gotaways
Big Bend Sector:
11,823 BP apprehensions/9,173 gotaways
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.