U.S. Customs and Border Protection Update on Southern Border Numbers

February 15, 2023
Sunset reflecting onto mountains

The January monthly operational update clearly illustrates that new border enforcement measures are working …

United States Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Troy Miller on new data reflecting a decrease of encounters along the southwest border in January.

Why It Matters: In January, CBP recorded 156,274 total encounters of people attempting entry into the U.S. along the southwest border. This figure reflects the lowest number of total monthly encounters recorded since January 2022 and a nearly 40% decrease in encounters from December (which saw the highest monthly number of encounters recorded in the past 20+ years). Of those encountered, about four in ten people were expelled under Title 42 – a provision re: public health safety. Nearly six out of ten people encountered were processed under immigration law, Title 8 – allowed to stay in the U.S. pursuing asylum, detained, or removed with no legal basis to remain.

  • Important To Note: People can be encountered more than once; for example, during Jan., about 25% of people encountered had been encountered at least once before over the past 12 months.
  • CBP officials attribute the decrease in total encounters to the parole process implemented in Oct. for Venezuelans and expanded in Jan. to include people from Nicaragua, Cuba and Haiti. Previously, CBP reported that a large number of people fleeing hardships in these countries had contributed the historic pace of encounters seen over the past several months. The new parole process allows CBP to expel up to 30,000 people per month who come from these countries and attempt to enter the U.S. illegally, while also creating more legal pathways for up to 30,000 people per month from these countries to enter the U.S. if they complete an application process and meet certain eligibility requirements.

CBP Releases January 2023 Monthly Operational Update (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Interactive data chart showing encounters along the southwest border over the past few years

by Jenna Lee,