During a recent Capitol Hill hearing on national security, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas revealed that in the 2023 fiscal year, more than 600,000 individuals managed to enter the United States without being apprehended by border agents. Mayorkas emphasized that this issue of individuals successfully entering the country without detection has persisted at the border for many years.
“The phenomenon of gotaways is something that has been a challenge for the department of homeland security for decades. In fact, it is a powerful example of a broken immigration system.”
Customs and Border Protection data released following the conclusion of the fiscal year on September 30th indicated that 900,000 migrants had been granted legal entry into the country via humanitarian parole along the southwestern border. This allowed them to initiate the process of seeking asylum.
When you combine the figure of those who have crossed the border with the number of Gotaways, it totals 1.5 million migrants who have entered the country in the past year. This influx has placed significant pressure on services in major metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Denver, and Washington D.C.
At the hearing held on Tuesday, Senator Roger Marshall (R., Kansas) mentioned that the cumulative count of individuals who successfully entered the country without detection, known as “gotaways,” since President Biden assumed office in 2021, stood at 1.7 million people. This statistic was corroborated by the Republican Committee on Homeland Security, as reported in their recent publication.
Since the beginning of the current year, this trend has shown no signs of abating. CBP Chief Jason Owens has raised concerns by stating that more than 1,000 individuals per day continue to evade border controls.
With an ongoing influx of migrants along the southern border, Arizona has experienced a substantial impact in recent weeks. Border Patrol agents operating in the Tuscon Sector of Pima County apprehended approximately 2,600 migrants over the weekend, resulting in a total of 3,200 individuals detained in that area, as reported by the Arizona Daily Star. Mark Evans, spokesperson for Pima County, indicated that they anticipate the release of 800 to 900 migrants daily as part of the processing procedure.
In the meantime, a group of approximately 5,000 migrants, en route to the U.S. border, commenced their journey on foot from Tapachula, which is one of Mexico’s southernmost cities near the Guatemalan border. This movement occurred on Monday, as the group had been waiting in the city for transit papers, which they had applied for but did not receive, prompting their departure.