EXCLUSIVE: Border Patrol Migrant Got-Away Count Hits 200K

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A law enforcement source within Customs and Border Protection revealed the number of migrants escaping apprehension has reached 200,000 this fiscal year. The source, speaking on a condition of anonymity, says more than 45,000 of those avoided capture in the last 30 days.

As Breitbart Texas reported previously, the got-away total had reached more than 185,000, frustrating Border Patrol leadership. Last year, 69,000 migrants managed to avoid apprehension. In just over seven months of this fiscal year, the number has nearly tripled over last year’s figures. Sources report the sharpest increase has occurred since January.

The metric is usually not released by the Department of Homeland Security. 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” count is usually lower than reality. How much so is debatable as the latter method of counting is not scientific. The increasing “got-away” numbers come as CBP reports its highest 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. The increasing number of unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border has Health and Human Services struggling to find sponsors within the United States. Many believe the impetus for the surges in illegal entries is being fueled by the promise of amnesty legislation. The Biden 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.

Recent reports concerning the reduced patrols being conducted by the Border Patrol are likely contributing to the surge in the “got-away” count. Addressing the humanitarian needs of thousands of migrants crossing the border directly impacts the Border Patrol’s ability to patrol many remote areas. This situation is likely to worsen as the crisis develops.


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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