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Southern Border Apprehensions Shatter Previous December Record, Former Senior Official Says

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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Border Patrol apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border for the month of December surpassed previous records, according to internal data obtained by former acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan.

Border agents made 226,050 apprehensions in December, which is the highest number compared to previous years during the same time period, according to Morgan’s data, which was obtained through a DHS source and shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. December 2022 was the highest on record going back to December of fiscal year 1997, with more than 170,000 Border Patrol encounters. (RELATED: Biden Admin To Hike Fees On Legal Immigration To Fund Processing Of Illegal Migrants Who Claim Asylum)

The month of December was marked by a major dispute in federal courts between Republican states and the Biden administration over Title 42, the Trump-era public health order used to quickly expel illegal immigrants to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Illegal immigrants surged the U.S.-Mexico border in areas like El Paso, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona, in anticipation of the expiration of the policy on Dec. 21 due to a previous court ruling, but the Republican states intervened and the Supreme Court extended the program.

The latest arrest number means that the first three months of fiscal year 2023, which totals more than 600,000 arrests, will surpass the number of apprehensions made in fiscal year 2020 by more than 200,000.

REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

The number of illegal immigrants that are known to have evaded Border Patrol during the month of December ranges between 73,397 and 87,631, according to Morgan, who said the total number of gotaways for the latest fiscal year will amount to more than 1 million. To compare, fiscal year 2022 ended with roughly 600,000 gotaways, according to Fox News.

CBP declined to comment.

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