CBP Border Numbers Released: December Was Officially the Worst Month in History

Nearly 250K apprehensions at the Southwest border — and 302K total encounters

By Andrew R. Arthur/ Center for Immigration Studies

CBP finally released its statistics on Southwest border encounters in December — 11 days late, and in a Friday, January 26, late-afternoon “news dump”, as I predicted on January 18. To say they’re bad is an understatement, given that those figures reveal that last month was the worst month at the U.S.-Mexico line in history.

“Encounters” in this context is a term of art coined by DHS following the initial implementation of Title 42 in March 2020. It’s defined as the total number of aliens apprehended by Border Patrol after entering illegally plus inadmissible aliens stopped by CBP officers in the agency’s Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the ports of entry.