Exclusive: Migrant Got-Aways Exceed 155K this Year, Says CBP Source

MISSION, TEXAS - MARCH 30: A group of migrants arrives in the U.S. after crossing the Rio Grande in a raft piloted by smugglers on March 30, 2021 in Roma, Texas. The group, made up of individuals from Honduras, turned themselves into the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing as they …
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A law enforcement source within Customs and Border Protection reports the number of migrants who escaped without being apprehended exceeded 155,000 so far this fiscal year. The source says the rate now exceeds 1,500 “got-aways” per day along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The source, speaking on a condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on the subject, provided Breitbart Texas with new developments in the number of migrants escaping Border Patrol apprehension. The source says the number of migrants avoiding apprehension by the Border Patrol surpassed 155,000 for this fiscal year which began on October 1, 2020. On average, over the last three weeks, nearly 1500 migrants per day avoided apprehension.

As Breitbart Texas reported, in late March, the got-away total reached more than 130,000 — frustrating Border Patrol leadership. During all of Fiscal Year 2020, 69,000 illegal migrants managed to avoid apprehension by the Border Patrol. In just over six months of this fiscal year, the number has more than doubled over last year’s entire-year figures. Sources report the sharpest increase occurred following President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January.

The metric is usually not released by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials. It is achieved by counting illegal immigrants who ultimately escape Border Patrol apprehension after being observed by aircraft platforms and camera systems. In addition, Border Patrol agents using traditional “sign-cutting” techniques identify footprints crossing the border and count those that elude apprehension.

“That’s where it gets tricky,” says one Border Patrol agent who did not wish to be identified. “On a small trail, dozens can walk all over each other’s footprints, so you just do your best. Often, they’ll glue carpet to the soles of their shoes making detection even harder.”

Sources report for these reasons, the got-away estimate is usually lower than reality. How much so is debatable as the latter method of counting is not scientific. The increasing got-aways come as CBP reports its highest migrant apprehension totals since 2006.

Despite the current administration’s refusal to call the immigration situation on the border a crisis, the recent surges are concerning. Many believe the impetus for the surges in illegal entries is being fueled by the promise of amnesty legislation. The administration’s new policies regarding lax interior enforcement and a reduction in removals are also believed to be contributing to the surge in activity along the border.

During a recent congressional visit to the border, Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) described the situation as “spiraling out of control”.

Recent reports concerning the reduced patrols being conducted by the Border Patrol are likely contributing to the surge in the got-away count. The humanitarian needs of thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the border also impacted the Border Patrol’s ability to patrol many remote areas. This situation is likely to worsen as the crisis continues to develop.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.


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