In August 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that more than 300,000 immigrants attempted to enter the United States unlawfully or were granted temporary parole.
This figure is a record high, surpassing the previous record set in December 2022 by nearly 2,000. The number of unauthorized entries is between five and ten times higher than the average monthly totals seen during the Obama and Trump administrations.
Of the total number of immigrants, 181,059 were arrested at the southern border after bypassing the ports of entry. Approximately 74,000 of these were single adults, 19,000 arrived with family members, and 13,500 were unaccompanied children. Additionally, 51,913 individuals who lacked the necessary documents for legal entry were encountered by customs officers at the southern border ports; however, they may have claimed asylum.
About 20,000 immigrants were arrested or deemed inadmissible at the northern border or at air, land, and sea ports in the north. The remaining 50,000 individuals were not accounted for specifically on the CBP’s website, but they were likely immigrants outside the U.S. who were granted humanitarian parole and allowed to fly into the country.
Late in 2022, the Department of Homeland Security announced processes allowing citizens of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela and their immediate family members to request entry into the U.S. Those who are outside the U.S. and lack entry documents may be considered for advanced authorization to travel and temporary parole for up to two years for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. They must have an adult sponsor in the U.S.
Since President Joe Biden took office, Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 7 million people who illegally entered the country between ports of entry nationwide. The surge in August is unusual, as illegal immigration typically declines during the hot summer months.