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FACTSHEET: Illegal Crossings of the Southwest Border Increased in April Ahead of Title 42’s End

May 18, 2023

FACTSHEET: Illegal Crossings of the Southwest Border Increased in April Ahead of Title 42’s End

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With encounters on the rise last month compared to March, it is clear that human smugglers, gangs, criminals, and those on the terrorist watchlists knew the Biden administration had no plan to address the upcoming influx once Title 42 enforcement ended in May. The Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data contradicts Secretary Mayorkas’ own bold claim, which he made before this very Committee, that the border was, in fact, “secure.”

Today, House Committee on Homeland Security released the latest edition of the “Startling Stats” factsheet for April 2023, highlighting the rising migrant influx at our Southwest border in anticipation of the end of Title 42 enforcement under the Biden administration.

Since day one, all Americans have asked of President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas is for them to enforce the laws on the books. In the absence of that enforcement, Title 42, which was never meant to be a long-term solution, became the final tool in the toolkit for our overwhelmed and overworked Border Patrol agents. The chaos that began unfolding at our Southwest border last month, and that has continued post-Title 42, illustrates the urgency for the Senate to pass and for President Biden to sign into law House Republicans’ Secure the Border Act of 2023.

Key Facts:

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had 211,401 alien encounters along the Southwest Border (SWB) in April 2023 — up almost 10% from the previous month and up nearly 20% from April 2021.
    • 86% of the total SWB encounters were between ports of entry — up 12% from March.
  • In just the first seven months of FY2023, 96 people whose names appear on the terrorist watchlist, including a shocking 16 in April alone, were stopped trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry.
    • April had more terrorist watchlist apprehensions at the SWB than all of FY2017, FY2018, FY2019, & FY2020 combined.
  • So far in FY2023, nationwide, CBP has arrested 17,533 individuals with criminal convictions and apprehended 377 known gang members, 111 of those being MS-13 members.
  • In FY2023 alone, CBP has seized over 17,000 pounds of fentanyl coming across the Southwest border—enough to kill over 3.8 billion people.
    • In April 2023, fentanyl seizures at the Southwest border increased 14% compared to the previous month.