CBP Releases Border Encounter Data for August 2022

September 20, 2022

The Latest Numbers

For the first time in modern data collection, new numbers tally more than 2 million encounters of people attempting to enter the U.S. along the southwest border.
Here's What To Know.


  • The U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) uses the umbrella term “encounters” in its monthly report.
  • This includes many different scenarios “encountered” by CBP agents — such as an individual trying to cross the border illegally, allowed to stay pending pursuit of asylum, or being quickly expelled under a provision re: public health safety during a pandemic (commonly referred to as Title 42).
  • Not all “encounters” lead to arrests, detentions, or expulsions — but some do.

"The people … we do actually encounter, they do not want to be detected …"

Border Patrol Agent Jesus Vasavilbaso on the Nogales, AZ border, distinguishing where he works versus other border areas where he says people turn themselves in. Encounters along the southwest border totaled 203,598 in Aug., slightly more than July & the 6th consecutive month encounters have risen over 200K. Nearly 4 out of 10 people were expelled under Title 42; around 6 out of 10 were processed under immigration law (Title 8) — allowed to stay in the U.S. pursuing asylum, detained, or removed w/ no legal basis to remain.

"We had our little house. Now it's worth nothing. The car is worth nothing."

Josalín Cuicas, 38, who left Venezuela when she could hardly afford enough food for herself and her daughter with her preschool teaching salary. CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said, “Failing communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration across the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters at the southwest U.S. border.” Encounters of people from these countries have increased over the past year, esp. encounters of Venezuelans — which were the second-most encountered nationality after Mexicans in August.

"I don't think anybody's expecting relief anytime soon."

Chief financial officer of the city of El Paso, TX, Robert Cortinas. The city of El Paso is now spending $300K daily in resources to help with the influx of people who have crossed the southwest border. In El Paso, CBP facilities and nongovernmental organizations which help people once they’ve entered the U.S. have reached capacity, leading to large numbers of migrants left to the streets — specifically, reportedly a large number of Venezuelans, who are less likely to have money or familial connections in the U.S.

Something To Consider

  • Single adults continued to make up the majority (69%) of people encountered along the southwest border in August. Individuals traveling as a family unit made up 25% of total encounters, and unaccompanied children (ages 17 & younger) made up nearly 6%, w/422 children in CBP custody each day.
  • Meanwhile, The Washington Post explains: “… the number of migrants who have died this year attempting to cross into the United States is at an all-time high.”

Next month, we will get the final numbers of encounters along the U.S. southwest border for the last year. One thing to know? Border patrol may encounter the same person twice (or more) during any given year.

Government data mirrors a financial year that runs from October – September. The next round of data will arrive before the midterm elections and will give us a picture of not just September but the whole year. The number of encounters for this financial year currently stands at 2.15 million.

CBP Releases August 2022 Monthly Operational Update (United States Customs and Border Protection)

Interactive Chart from CBP: Southwest Land Border Encounters

U.S. arrests along Mexico border top 2 million a year for first time (The Washington Post)

by Jenna Lee,