Adam Shaw and Bill Melugin, Fox News, October 28, 2023
Border Patrol released over 900,000 illegal immigrants into the interior of the United States in Fiscal Year 2023, including more than 150,000 in September alone — offering an insight into how many migrants who crossed the border illegally are allowed to stay in the country.
The data on the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website shows that 908,669 migrants were released by Border Patrol in FY 2023 after being encountered between ports of entry having crossed illegally. The figures do not include ICE releases or those encountered at ports of entry.
Those released were primarily given a NTA/OR (notice to appear on own recognizance), meaning they were released into the U.S. with instructions to appear in court, often at a date years in the future. A minority were released under humanitarian parole between October 2022 and January 2023.
In September, there were 155,914 migrants released into the U.S. by Border Patrol alone with NTAs. For context, there were 218,763 migrants encountered by Border Patrol agents in September, meaning the majority of those encountered between ports of entry were released into the U.S.
For the entire fiscal year, 900,000 Border Patrol releases is a population size larger than several U.S. states, including Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska and North and South Dakota. There were just over two million encounters by Border Patrol in FY 2023.
Overall, including ports of entry, there were 269,000 encounters in September — a historic high that took FY 23 to a new record with more than 2.4 million encounters. At the ports of entry, there were also over 350,000 NTAs issued.
The Biden administration recently called on Congress to provide an additional $14 billion in funding for border operations, including for processing, support for states and communities into which migrants have been released, and additional agents.
The White House says the money includes funding for transportation, including removal flights and resources for alternatives to detention. It also includes money for “non-custodial housing options” for those in expedited removal, including facilities with housing, legal services and medical care.