Nearly 285,000 Foreign Nationals Apprehended Or Evaded Capture At Border In April

Image: Single, military aged men from Mexico wearing camouflage who illegally entered Texas were apprehended by OLS officers in Kinney County, Texas. Image Credit: Texas Department of Public Safety

By Bethany Blankley [The Center Square contributor] –

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported there were 211,401 foreign nationals apprehended at the southwest border in April, the second-highest total in 22 years.

These numbers don’t include gotaways, however, those who agents report as known to have evaded capture after they entered the U.S. illegally. In April, gotaways totaled at least 73,463, with the greatest numbers reported in the El Paso and Tucson sectors.

When gotaway data is included, April’s numbers total nearly 285,000, and greater than all other months this year.

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CBP said overall encounters in April were up 10% from March. The majority of border crossers, 182,114, were apprehended between ports of entry, up 12% from March. Among them were 5% more single adults and 28% more family units.

Since Jan. 12 through the end of April, over 79,000 foreign nationals scheduled appointments through the CBP One mobile app, CBP said; the majority were from Mexico, Venezuela and Haiti.

In April, CBP also processed and released into the U.S. more than 22,000 foreign nationals at ports of entry as exceptions to the public health authority Title 42 using the CBP One app.

Every month, The Center Square obtains unreported preliminary data from a Border Patrol agent that includes gotaway and other data. The agent provides the information on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation; it only includes Border Patrol data and excludes Office of Field Operations data – meaning the numbers are higher than reported.

The Rio Grande Valley gotaway data appears to be incomplete, the agent says, because it’s significantly lower than previous months while at the same time the region has been hit hard with groups of thousands of Venezuelans and Haitians attempting to enter at a time and ongoing surges of people continuing.

Less gotaways reported indicates that with fewer agents in the field, fewer people evading capture are being tracked or reported, meaning the number of people who illegally entered between ports of entry is expected to be significantly higher and unknown.

The El Paso Sector again led all sectors with the greatest number of apprehensions, followed by the RGV and Del Rio sectors.

As of May 1, the preliminary data for April in nine southwest border sectors include:


Apps- 1,430

TBs- 38

Gotaways Border Zone (known/recorded)- 753

Unclassifiable Detection- 0

Gotaways Interior Zone- 237

No Violations- 32

Deceased- 0

Outstanding- 53


Apps- 21,950

TBs- 204

Gotaways Border Zone (known/recorded)- 10,659

Unclassifiable Detection- 64

Gotaways Interior Zone- 3,077

No Violations- 173

Deceased- 10

Outstanding- 672


Apps- 4,881

TBs- 727

Gotaways Border Zone (known/recorded)- 348

Unclassifiable Detection- 0

Gotaways Interior Zone- 24

No Violations- 9

Deceased- 1

Outstanding- 23

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Apps- 42,493

TBs- 6,669

Gotaways Border Zone (known/recorded)- 22,335

Unclassifiable Detection- 2

Gotaways Interior Zone- 371

No Violations- 33

Deceased- 3

Outstanding- 81


Apps- 5,878

TBs- 2,106

Gotaways Border Zone (known/recorded)- 1,849

Unclassifiable Detection- 6

Gotaways Interior Zone- 582

No Violations- 229

Deceased- 3

Outstanding- 8


Apps- 38,200

TBs- 3,034

Gotaways Border Zone (known/recorded)- 1,843

Unclassifiable Detection- 99

Gotaways Interior Zone- 976

No Violations- 123

Deceased- 9

Outstanding- 10


Apps- 25,575

TBs- 191

Gotaways Border Zone (known/recorded)- 3,847

Unclassifiable Detection- 0

Gotaways Interior Zone- 3,882

No Violations- 10

Deceased- 0

Outstanding- 1,609


Apps- 36,375

TBs- 530

Gotaways Border Zone (known/recorded)- 14,237

Unclassifiable Detection- 137

Gotaways Interior Zone- 4,291

No Violations- 128

Deceased- 1

Outstanding- 1,690


Apps- 14,630

TBs- 122

Gotaways Border Zone (known/recorded)- 966

Unclassifiable Detection- 28

Gotaways Interior Zone- 53

No Violations- 9

Deceased- 0

Outstanding- 345

Apprehensions refer to those who illegally enter the U.S. and surrender or are caught. Turnbacks refer to those who illegally enter but return to Mexico. The gotaway data reflects where foreign nationals are detected illegally entering the U.S., at the Mexican border or farther north.

Unclassifiable detection isn’t part of 6 U.S. Code, which specifies how encounters are to be reported. This, and a now deleted category of “no arrests,” were used as a way to lower the number of gotaways being reported, the Border Patrol agent told The Center Square.

“No arrests” meant someone “was detected in a non-border zone and their presence didn’t affect Got-Away statistics,” according to the official internal tracking system used by agents to record data. “Unclassifiable detection” means the same thing, but the agents couldn’t determine citizenship. No-violations are individuals “deemed to have committed no infraction and don’t affect Got-Away statistics,” according to the tracking system.


No-violations and unclassifiable detection should be categorized as gotaways, the Border Patrol agent explained, assuming all non-arrests were of non-citizens. However, each sector also determines unclassified detection differently, the agent added, so how the numbers are categorized aren’t uniform. If these two categories were counted as gotaways, the total gotaway number for April would be closer to 74,545.

However, these numbers still don’t tell the whole story, the agent and others have explained to The Center Square, because they don’t include unknown and unrecorded gotaways. Not all gotaways are recorded because not all are identified, meaning the number of those illegally entering the U.S. is expected to be much greater than reported.

About the Author: Bethany Blankley is a writer at the Center Square, Patheos/Hedgerow, political analyst and former press secretary at Capitol Hill / NY / WDC. Follow Bethany on Twitter @BethanyBlankley.

3 thoughts on “Nearly 285,000 Foreign Nationals Apprehended Or Evaded Capture At Border In April

  • May 19, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    Are we getting the whole picture? I just saw a news report that said immigration at the border is down significantly over the past week. American farms and businesses need those workers!

  • May 19, 2023 at 5:32 pm

    The Biden administration is lying about the decrease in migrant influx.

    Migrants need to get work visas to work in the country and go back when they are done working.

    This is law and it should be followed.

    I suspect Democrats are lying about the crops!

    Hell, Democrats lie about everything!

  • May 19, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    Foreign nationals, migrants, immigrants, they are not. They are illegals who are invading the US with the help of democrats. If McDonalds and Motel 6 can’t get enough workers, shut them down. There are places in california where menus is pictures that you point to because the “worker” doesn’t speak English. There are schools where I couldn’t apply because I didn’t speak spanish or some other foreign language. With a weak governor, it will happen in Tennessee. Don’t californicate Tennessee.


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