U.S. Releases Border Numbers for December

January 29, 2024

CBP remains vigilant to respond to the serious challenges we are experiencing across the southwest border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner, Troy A. Miller, in the federal agency’s update on how many encounters CBP recorded of people attempting to enter the U.S. during December 2023.

Why It Matters: Along both the southwest and northern borders, encounters of people attempting entry remain at historic levels.

Southwest Border: In December, CBP recorded 302,034 encounters of people attempting to enter the U.S., an increase from November and the highest monthly total in modern data collection. Those encountered were processed under immigration law (Title 8) – meaning they were either allowed to stay in the U.S. pursuing asylum, detained, or removed with no legal basis to remain.

  • An increase in encounters from November to December was seen in every demographic. Single adults (164,907 encounters) increased by 31.6%, family unit individuals (123,512 encounters) increased by 18.5%, unaccompanied minors (13,475 encounters) increased by 5.2% and accompanied minors (140 encounters) increased by 16.7%.
  • During December, CBP conducted 386 rescues of people attempting entry along the southwest border.

Northern Border: In December, CBP recorded 15,349 encounters along the northern border, an elevated number higher than November encounters but slightly less than October encounters.

Big Picture: In its update, CBP said it “has taken significant steps to surge personnel and resources to impacted areas and address challenges we are experiencing across the southwest border. Encounter numbers continue to fluctuate, as smugglers and bad actors continue to spread falsehoods and show complete disregard for the safety and well-being of vulnerable migrants.” CBP also called on Congress for additional support.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group in Congress is working on a new deal “that would enact sweeping new border controls, including the authority to pause asylum processing during spikes in migrant crossings” (CBS News). The bill could potentially be unveiled this week. Meanwhile, tensions between Texas and the federal government concerning the southwest border continue.

Read More:

CBP Releases December 2023 Monthly Update

Southwest Land Border Encounters

Nationwide Encounters

November’s Numbers

Biden and senators on verge of striking immigration deal aimed at clamping down on illegal border crossings (CBS News)

Texas doubles down in unprecedented border dispute with federal government (CBS News)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas