Record SW Border Encounters: 2,378,944 in FY 2022

( – The nearly 2.4 million migrant “encounters” along the southwestern border in fiscal year 2022 – the most ever recorded – included significant increases in September in the number of those from Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, when compared to the same month a year earlier.

By contrast, U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions of illegal migrants from Mexico were up only slightly (5.47 percent) in September compared to a year earlier, while those from the “northern triangle” Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador dropped.

In the final month of FY 2022, there were a total of 227,547 encounters, an 18.51 percent increase from the 192,001 recorded in September 2021.

For the fiscal year as a whole, CBP reported 2,378,944 encounters along the U.S.-Mexico border, a 37.13 percent increase from the 1,734,686 encounters reported in fiscal year 2021.

The statistics for September – and thus for the whole just-ended fiscal year – were released late on Friday night. (A CBP tweet on the release was posted at 11:15 PM eastern time.)


The October 21 release was later in the month than is typically the case. Over the past year the CBP has usually made each month’s figures available between the 15th and 18th of the following month. (January was an exception, with data for December 2021 released only on the 24th.)

Immigration ranks among the top voter concerns ahead of next month’s midterms. A Morning Consult midterm election tracker found 48 percent of respondents (63 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of Democrats, 44 percent independents) said immigration was “very important” when deciding whom to vote for. That makes it one of five most pressing concerns, along with the economy (way ahead of the rest), education, abortion, and gun policy.

Encounters reported by the CBP are both as apprehensions by Border Patrol agents between ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, and incidents in which a migrant is denied admission at a port of entry and deported.

The CBP says many migrants make repeat attempts to enter the United State and are stopped more than once. Of the total of 227,547 southwest border migrant encounters in September, it said 19 percent were with individuals who had been involved in at least one previous encounter over the past 12 months.

The biggest single percentage rise in the number of migrant encounters in September 2022 compared to the same month a year earlier were from:

— Colombia – an increase of 514.19 percent (13,807 in Sept. 2022 compared to 2,248 in Sept. 2021)

— Cuba – an increase of 444.01 percent (26,178, up from 4,812)

— China – an increase of 363.95 percent (399, up from 86)

— Turkey – an increase of 242.85 percent (1,632, up from 476)

— Venezuela – an increase of 212.45 percent (33,804, up from 10,814)

— India – an increase of 196.33 percent (2,021, up from 682)

— Nicaragua – an increase of 149.37 percent (18,199, up from 7,298)

— Russia – an increase of 82.75 percent (2,617, up from 1,432)

— Mexico – an increase of 5.47 percent (64,654, up from 61,593)

The biggest percentage drops in encounter numbers in September compared to the previous year were reported from:

— Brazil – a decrease of 83.45 percent (1,732 in Sept. 2022 compared to 10,471 in Sept. 2021)

— Ukraine – a decrease of 80.15 percent (50, down from 252)

— Haiti – a decrease of 70.72 percent (5,163, down from 17,638)

— Honduras – a decrease of 46.75 percent (14,417, down from 27,078)

— El Salvador – a decrease of 42.96 percent (6,247, down from 10,953)

— Guatemala – a decrease of 36.87 percent (15,331, down from 24,228 in Sept. 2021)

“The large number of individuals fleeing failing authoritarian regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba is contributing to an increased number of migrants attempting to cross the border,” the CBP said in a release accompanying the data.

Of the total unique encounters in Sept. 2022, 77,302 were from Venezuela, Cuba, or Nicaragua, representing 42 percent of all unique encounters – and an increase of 245 percent over Sept. 2021.

Of the total unique encounters in Sept. 2022, 58,068 were from Mexico and the northern triangle, representing 32 percent of unique encounters, and a 23 decrease over Sept. 2021.


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