October 2022 Data from Southern Border

November 16, 2022
A photo of mountains along the U.S. southern border

A New Year

The latest border data from October, the first month of the U.S. government's new year, shows a continued historic pace of people seeking entry into the U.S. along the southern 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.

“Encounters of Cuban and Nicaraguan asylum seekers fleeing their authoritarian regimes continues to be at an historic high."

CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller. Encounters totaled 230,678 in October  more than September & the third-highest monthly total in 20+ years.

"Things have gone from bad to worse."

Venezuelan lawyer Dayry Alexandra Cuauro, 36, who began the dangerous journey to the U.S. "for the future" of her 6yo daughter. According to the NYT, "in recent months, the United States had allowed thousands of Venezuelans to enter the country and ask for asylum." The flood of Venezuelans led to a change in policy; now Venezuelans, like others, risk expulsion. Family units make up 26% of all encounters; the numbers of family units and unaccompanied minors both increased in October.

"People should not listen to the lies by smugglers who will take advantage of vulnerable migrants …"

U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security after a judge blocked the continued use of Title 42 (which allows the government to almost immediately expel people due to a pandemic) after December 21, 2022. In October, 34% of people (78K) were quickly expelled under Title 42; 66% (152K) were processed via immigration law (Title 8) — allowed to stay in the U.S. pursuing asylum, detained, or removed w/ no legal basis to remain.

In October, nearly 1 out of every 5 people encountered had a previous encounter within the past year — a higher-than-usual "re-encounter rate." Uncertainty surrounds what's next as CBP prepares for Title 42 to be lifted; some speculate MORE encounters as the government will not be able to quickly expel people as easily.

The government's fiscal year runs October – September so this data *begins* a new year of information.

Interesting to note: As CBP says an increasing number of people seeking asylum from countries incl. Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela are contributing to an increase of encounters along the southern border, the number of Russians encountered also increased by 48% from Sept. to Oct., totaling 3.8K encounters of Russians in Oct., as many are reportedly fleeing their country amid the war in Ukraine. Big Picture: Worldwide, the U.N. says a record 103M people are "forcibly displaced" worldwide (NYT).

CBP Releases October 2022 Monthly Operational Update (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Southwest Land Border Encounters (U.S. CBP; Interactive Data Chart)

Court gives Biden until December to wind down Title 42 blocking asylum seekers (The Hill)

A Girl Loses Her Mother in the Jungle, and a Migrant Dream Dies (The New York Times)

Governor Abbott Orders DPS, TMD To Use Every Available Strategy To Combat Border Crisis (The State Governor of Texas)

by Jenna Lee,