EXCLUSIVE: 100K Migrant ‘Got-Aways’ Since October, Says CBP Source

Border Patrol surveillance video captures images of migrant "got-aways" near the Texas border with Mexico. (U.S. Border Patrol/Del Rio Sector)
U.S. Border Patrol/Del Rio Sector

Border Patrol agents estimate more than 100,000 known migrant got-aways since the fiscal year began in October. A source operating under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says the agency recorded 47,500 got-a-ways during the month of October. That is followed by an additional 52,000 got-aways in November. The source believes the increase in November means more than 600,000 migrant got-aways will be recorded this fiscal year if the trend continues.

The source says the constant flow of migrants being apprehended along the southern border impedes the agency’s ability to adequately patrol miles of the border. The absence of routine patrols is driving the got-away numbers up as there are no available Border Patrol agents to respond to electronic sensors, camera activations, and unmanned aerial surveillance sightings. On average, more than 1,700 migrants avoided apprehension by the Border Patrol each day in November.

“The best we can do is just record the got-aways and move on,” the source explained.  “We’re trying to increase patrols but the flow of migrants surrendering is unstoppable.”

The routine patrol of many areas along the southwest border has been a source of concern for many as the Border Patrol is relegated to processing, transporting, and providing transportation for thousands of migrants apprehended daily.

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.
The metric is usually not released by DHS. The estimate 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.

According to the source, the got-away count is usually lower than reality as the elements usually destroy the evidence of crossings after high winds and rains. The source says Border Patrol agents are frustrated knowing that areas along the border are wide open and free of patrols. “When unmanned areal systems report active border crossings, there is no doubt concerning the accuracy of the numbers, the body counts are precise, what we don’t know, is who they are and why they are crossing the border” the source added.

The constant flow of migrants crossing the southwest border has proven challenging to the Border Patrol and kept many stations above COVID-19 recommended detention levels. In one area of the border, the agency routinely relies on outdoor detention areas to stage migrants awaiting limited transportation resources and indoor detention space, Breitbart Texas reported.

Apprehension of migrants by Border Patrol agents across the U.S. remained at record levels in November, according to a CBP document reviewed by Breitbart Texas. The unofficially reported apprehension of more than 160,000 migrants in November represents an increase of more than 140 percent over the same month in 2020.

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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