Since President Joe Biden assumed office in 2021, a staggering 3.8 million migrants have crossed into the United States. Nearly 50% of these individuals entered the country undetected.
Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) immigration database reveals that, over the past three years, 2.34 million individuals received Notices to Appear (NTAs) before immigration courts.
These NTAs, critical in the asylum claim process, are given to individuals who present themselves to the Border Patrol upon arrival. If officials believe there is potential merit to their case, a court hearing is scheduled, often several years in the future, to decide their fate.
During the Department of Homeland Security’s 2023 fiscal year, spanning from October 1st to September 30th, more than 1.23 million NTAs were distributed.
However, these statistics do not capture the full extent of migrant entries. Over the same three-year period, it’s estimated that over 1.5 million “gotaways” – those who successfully crossed the border without detection – have entered the U.S.
In May 2023, the U.S. Border Patrol cited 530,000 gotaways for the current fiscal year, a figure approaching the prior year’s all-time high of 600,000 and surpassing the 389,000 in 2021.
Official statistics for the entire fiscal year remain undetermined as migrant numbers continue to rise.
The U.S. Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have yet to release comprehensive numbers for this period.
During a Wednesday address in Iowa, former President Donald Trump stated that if he returns to the presidency, he plans to deploy thousands of troops and federal law enforcement to the U.S.-Mexico border to address the growing migrant situation.
Trump further mentioned that, if elected in 2024, he would utilize the Alien Enemies Act to grant him the authority to deport non-citizens over 14 years old who entered the U.S. through the Southern border.
He stated that he would secure any border left open by the Biden administration.
The spike in migrant entries has caused a ripple effect throughout the U.S. immigration system.
August 2023 alone saw an impressive 19% increase in NTAs issued, rising to over 180,000 from the prior record of 151,910 set in July.
Consequently, the Immigration Court is grappling with an overwhelming case backlog, with about 2.7 million cases pending resolution, according to TRAC’s data.
Once within the U.S., these migrants have spread across all states. However, some states have felt the impact more acutely.
Texas, California, Florida, and New York top the list, having absorbed 170,475, 165,186, 152,048, and 145,690 migrants, respectively, in the past year.