Total encounters reported at both the northern and southwest land borders in August was 304,162, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data. It is the greatest total number of illegal entries of any month in recorded U.S. history, according to CBP data.
Total encounter data excludes nearly 30,000 gotaways at the southwest border reported by Border Patrol agents last month. It excludes gotaways reported by Office of Field Operations agents at the southwest border and all gotaway data from the northern border.
Gotaways is the official CBP term for foreign nationals who illegally enter between ports of entry and don’t return to Mexico or Canada. CBP doesn’t publicly release this data. The Center Square receives preliminary gotaway data from a Border Patrol agent on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.
Many news outlets reported more than 230,000 encounters were reported by CBP at the southwest border in August. However, when preliminary gotaway data is included, the number increased to over 261,000 illegal border crossers, The Center Square previously reported.
By comparison, more than 251,521 illegal total border crossers were reported in August 2022, up from 231,243 in August 2021 and 65,707 in August 2020, excluding gotaways.
The next highest monthly total of illegal border crossers after August 2023 was 284,665 in November 2022.