HIDALGO, Texas (NewsNation) — The U.S.-Mexico border has had more than half a million known “gotaway” immigrants who have crossed the border into the U.S. but evaded capture since fiscal year 2022 began.
Multiple DHS sources confirmed new numbers to NewsNation which show that, so far this fiscal year, there have been more than 500,000 gotaways — the fiscal year won’t end until October.
It’s a sharp increase compared to the FY 2021 when more than 389,000 migrants evaded arrest.
“Gotaways” is a term commonly used to illegal immigrants who have been spotted crossing the border on camera but were not caught or processed by officials.
“We don’t know where these people are coming from, who they are and what their intentions are in the United States, and that keeps us up at night,” said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.
Judd says the numbers only tell half the story — that’s all law enforcement knows about, but it’s widely accepted the true number is significantly higher.
The number of migrant encounters and apprehensions at the southern border is down. June marked the fourth month in a row of more than 207,000 — down slightly from May’s high of 239,416. June’s numbers brought the total number of encounters in FY 2022 to 1,746,119 — the most the agency has recorded for any fiscal year since 1960.
Texas U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzalez on Monday led a delegation of U.S. representatives to Eagle Pass, Texas — one of the most active crossing points for migrants along the Rio Grande. The new migrant processing facility there, built to house 1,000 migrants at once, is already bursting over capacity with 1,300 a day.
Another issue is drownings in the Rio Grande. This month, four migrants, including an infant, have drowned in the Eagle Pass area.
“A National Guardsman almost lost his life; he had to be pulled out trying to save a migrant attempting to illegally come across. This can’t go on,” said Michigan U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg.