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Every month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) releases new data on the previous month’s border encounters, drug seizures, stopping counterfeit shipments, inspections of plant and animal products, and the number of illegal migrants that have been rescued along the border. The numbers for March were released on Friday, April 12. For the month of March, CBP reported some noteworthy statistics:

Encounters / Aliens Crossing our Borders Illegally

  • There were a total of 246,432 encounters along all borders in the month of March. This is only down by approximately 10,000 from the previous month.
  • In the last six months, over 1.7 million illegal aliens have been encountered. That’s approximately 9,500 encounters per day.
  • Of the 246,432 encounters in March, 189,372 were along the Southwest border, accounting for nearly 77% of all encounters.
  • In March, 8,881 children entered the country unaccompanied, bringing the total of Unaccompanied Alien Children for Fiscal Year 2024 to 65,797.

The Biden administration continues to tout its unlawful parole programs that allow otherwise inadmissible aliens to be released into the U.S., providing them with a work authorization and making them available for certain benefits.

  • CBP says that, through the end of March 2024, 404,000 aliens from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela arrived on commercial flights and were released and granted immigration parole.
  • Specifically, 84,000 Cubans, 154,000 Haitians, 69,000 Nicaraguans, and 95,000 Venezuelans arrived, were granted immigration parole, and released through their special CHNV program created in early 2023.
  • In March, CBP processed 44,000 individuals through appointments at ports of entry utilizing the CBP One™ App. Since the appointment scheduling function in CBP One™ was introduced in January 2023 through the end of March 2024, more than 547,000 individuals have successfully scheduled appointments to present at ports of entry. The top nationalities who have been processed are Venezuelan, Haitian, and Mexican. Virtually all individuals with appointments are granted immigration parole and released into the U.S.

CBP also releases data on the number of encounters by citizenship. Of note, more than 200,000 Venezuelans have been encountered this fiscal year. In March, just over 21,000 Venezuelan nationals entered illegally, up from nearly 16,000 in March FY23, 4,000 in FY22, and 2,700 in FY21. Additionally, nearly 42,000 nationals from China have been encountered in the last six months crossing our borders illegally.

Fentanyl trafficking has shown no signs of abating. CBP says that, nationwide in March, fentanyl seizures increased by 16.1 percent compared to February. Approximately 10,000 pounds of fentanyl have been seized in the last six months. By comparison, in all of FY2021, CBP seized 11.2 pounds.

March 2024 fentanyl seizures CBP

CBP also claimed that its new program, the Missing Migrant Program, which helps locate migrants who are reported missing, has yielded an increased number of rescues and reunification of migrants with family members. They say that the U.S. Border Patrol conducted 439 rescues, a 77 percent increase from January 2024. This brings the FY 2024 total rescues to 2,488.

Although open-borders advocates and the administration will tout the tiny decline in (historically unprecedented) illegal alien encounters, the big picture shows that the Biden Border Crisis continues unabated. Furthermore, efforts in border states, especially Texas, or other regular seasonal variations may be contributing to the reduction in encounters.

You can find more statistics and research on FAIR’s Research page, including new infographics to explain the data by clicking here.

For more information on immigration parole, including how it was intended and how it’s being used, read FAIR’s latest report, Immigration Parole: The Executive Branch’s Shadow Immigration System.

You may also read an issue brief related to migration trends of Venezuelan nationals by clicking here.

Author: FAIR


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