U.S. Customs and Border Protection will tally 250,000 migrant got-aways by June 13 for Fiscal Year 2021, according to an agency source speaking on the condition of anonymity. This figure represents the total number of migrants who avoid capture by the Border Patrol.
The total reached 200,000 in May. Nearly 50,000 escaped over the last 30 days. According to the source, on average, 1,600 migrants avoid capture daily.
In 2020, 69,000 migrants managed to avoid apprehension by the Border Patrol.
The metric is usually not publicly released. It is achieved by counting illegal immigrants who ultimately escape apprehension after being observed by aircraft and camera systems. Border Patrol agents also use traditional sign-cutting techniques to spot footprints. It is not a perfect investigative method. Sources say the got-away count is usually lower than reality.
Recent diversions of Border Patrol agents to humanitarian work in detention centers or stations is likely contributing to the surge in the got-away count.
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.