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Record-breaking 300,000+ illegal immigrant encounters recorded in single month

A Border Patrol agent looks over some trails at Otay Mountain in San Diego on June 8, 2021. (Alejandro Tamayo/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
January 29, 2024

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released December’s illegal immigration statistics on Friday, revealing 302,034 encounters with illegal immigrants along the southern border.

While CBP differentiates between “total encounters” and “encounters between ports of entry” in the agency’s statistics, December’s statistics shatter all previous single-month illegal immigration records as President Joe Biden’s administration continues to face pressure to secure the southern border.

In a press release on Friday, the CBP reported, “In December 2023, the U.S. Border Patrol recorded 249,785 encounters between ports of entry along the southwest border. CBP’s total encounters along the southwest border in December were 302,034.”

According to Fox News, Border Patrol’s 302,034 encounters in December not only set the record for the highest number of border encounters in a single month but is also the first time over 300,000 border encounters have ever been recorded in one month.

Highlighting the latest statistics shared by CBP officials, Bill Melugin, a Fox News correspondent, tweeted, “In Friday news dump, CBP officially reports 302,034 migrant encounters in December, the highest month ever recorded. CBP also reports Border Patrol arrested 19 people on the FBI terror watchlist in December, bringing the total to 50 arrests for fiscal year 2024 so far.”

In another tweet, Melugin noted that the record illegal immigration numbers have been “known internally for a long time.” Earlier this month, Fox News reported that Border Patrol agents had over 300,000 encounters at the border in December.

Melugin also commented on the timing of the CBP’s official release of December’s illegal immigration statistics weeks after the statistics were initially leaked to the media. He wrote, “These numbers were officially released late on a Friday afternoon, after the White House presser, and right as Trump jury decision news comes out.”

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According to Fox News, the latest CBP statistics highlight the continued crisis at the southern border. Border Patrol agents had 2.4 million encounters in fiscal year 2023 as illegal immigrants have continued to enter the United States in record numbers since 2021 under the Biden administration’s open-border policies.

House Republicans claimed in a Saturday press release that the CBP’s December statistics show the “Biden border crisis continues to rage on with no end in sight.”

The press release noted, “The Biden border crisis has gotten so bad that CBP has had to actually double the size of the chart it uses to report illegal immigrant encounters at the Southern Border from 150,000 to 300,000.”