A law enforcement source within Customs and Border Protection revealed the number of migrants escaping apprehension reached 75,000 in Fiscal Year 2022, which began in October. The source says between 1,800 and 2,000 migrants are managing to elude apprehension daily along the southwest border.
On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) questioned Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the issue. In a tense exchange, Mayorkas failed to provide the number.
Sen. Cruz: Now, you told another Senator, you don’t know how many ‘got-aways’ there have been?
Sec. Mayorkas: I will have to circle back, Senator, with that information.”
Cruz: So, that wasn’t a fact that you thought was relevant to this hearing?
Mayorkas: Oh, it is absolutely relevant. I understand why the question is posed. It’s a fact of great—
Cruz: But you’re not prepared to answer it. How about this — how many deaths? How many illegal aliens have died crossing illegally into the United States under Joe Biden’s Administration?
Mayorkas: I don’t have that data.
The known got-away count is updated daily by the Border Patrol, according to the source. The data is entered into a system of record easily accessible to agency leaders.
At the current pace, the source says the migrant got-away count this year is likely to exceed the more than 400,000 as reported in Fiscal Year 2021.
The metric is usually not released by DHS. It is achieved by counting migrants who ultimately escape apprehension after being observed by aircraft and camera systems. Agents also use traditional sign-cutting techniques to identify footprints.
Sources report the got-away count is usually lower than reality. Another issue impacting the accuracy of the got-away count, according to the source, is the number of Border Patrol agents relegated to processing, transport and humanitarian care for the thousands of migrants apprehended daily.
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.