Illegal Immigrant ‘Gotaways’ Skyrocket Under Biden White House, Data Shows

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Jason Hopkins Contributor
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The number of illegal immigrant “gotaways” has exploded under the Biden administration, according to federal data obtained by Fox News.

In the three years of fiscal year 2021 through fiscal year 2023, more than 1.6 million known gotaways have been recorded, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data obtained by Fox News via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The number eclipses all known gotaways recorded in both the Trump and Obama administrations from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2020. (RELATED: Number Of Migrants That Got In After Crossing Border Illegally In Fiscal 2023 Surpassed Populations In 11 States)

Unlike migrants that typically seek out immigration officials and request asylum once they reach the U.S., gotaways are foreign nationals that are observed by CBP officials escaping into the interior of the country before being apprehended. The number of known gotaways does not account for unknown gotaways.

There were 387,398 gotaways in fiscal year 2021, according to CBP data obtained by Fox News. That number ballooned to 606,131 in fiscal year 2022 and climbed even higher to 670,674 in fiscal year 2023.

For reference, the worst year under the Trump administration for known gotaways was 151,466 in fiscal year 2019, the CBP data shows. About half a million gotaways were recorded under Trump’s tenure from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2020, the data show.

The newly-released data sheds more light on the immigration crisis taking place in the U.S. in recent years.

Roughly six million migrants have been encountered at the southern border since the beginning of the Biden administration, while other sectors of the northern border have also been experiencing historical highs in migrant encounters.

Immigration experts have expressed concern over gotaways in particular because, unlike illegal immigrants that immediately seek out asylum, these individuals are actively trying to avoid U.S. law enforcement.

“How many of these gotaways carried fentanyl?” former Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) acting director Tom Homan said during a recent House committee hearing. “How many of them were criminals or gang members? How many of them were sex trafficking women or children?”

“DHS continues to take significant actions to disrupt transnational criminal networks amidst unprecedented hemispheric migration, resulting in a decline in southwest border encounters in recent months,” a CBP spokesperson said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Since the return to full Title 8 processing in May 2023 after the end of the Title 42 Public Health Order, increased enforcement and removals have led to a significant reduction in observed gotaways.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include comment from a CBP spokesperson.

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