FederalImmigration & BorderIssuesArrests of Illegal Aliens in Texas Sectors Fell by 45 Percent in January

CBP said the number of encounters in January was the lowest since February 2021, the month after President Biden's inauguration.
March 3, 2023
Encounters with illegal immigrants dramatically decreased in January, according to statistics published last month by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

There were 128,410 arrests between ports of entry in January across the southwestern U.S. border, and 77,258 arrests in Texas border patrol sectors, including the Big Bend, Del Rio, El Paso, Laredo, and Rio Grande sectors.

The number of southwest border encounters was a 42 decrease percent from the December figure of 221,675. In Texas sectors alone, there was a drop of 45 percent. There was also a sharp 71 percent decrease in encounters with family units in the El Paso sector from December, when there was a surge on the border as the Title 42 expulsion policy nearly met its fate.

Total encounters nationwide were 156,274 in January, 42 percent of which ended in an enforcement action under the Title 42 order, according to CBP. That included 27,864 stops at ports of entry, of which 3,105 occurred within the El Paso field office and 14,840 within the Laredo field office.

The agency ascribed the decrease in encounters to a policy announced on January 5 designed to allow Cubans, Nicaraguans, Haitians, and Venezuelans to enter the U.S. legally while applying harsher consequences to those who cross the border without authorization. It’s the same policy President Biden touted in his State of the Union address.

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The Title 42 policy has been at the center of border security policy since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary order is set to end in May when the federal government’s pandemic emergencies end.

While Republican-led states have been fighting a legal battle to keep the Title 42 order in place, the U.S. Supreme Court canceled an oral argument in the case after the Biden administration argued that it will soon be a moot point.

Even in January, more than 41 percent of the expulsions were carried out under Title 42. When the order ends, border security will be enforced using the regular immigration laws in Title 8.

CBP is still under the leadership of Acting Commissioner Troy Miller, who succeeded former Commissioner Chris Magnus after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas all but demanded his resignation following CBP’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 report.

In FY 2022, there were 2.4 million encounters with illegal aliens in the southwestern U.S.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."