(January 2023) The rollback of Trump's hardline immigration policies by the Biden-Harris administration and struggling Latin American economies are pushing hundreds of thousands of migrants to cross the US-Mexico border in hope of a better life.

  • According to the latest data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the number of migrant encounters across the U.S. southern border for December 2022 reached a record high of 251,487. Compared to December 2021 number of migrant encounters increased by 72,234.
  • Of the 251,487 border enforcement encounters in December 2022, 14 percent of involved individuals who have been stopped by a U.S. border agent in the previous 12 months.

  • There were a total of 216,162 unique encounters in December 2022, which is an 11 percent increase in the number of unique enforcement encounters from November 2022. The CBP says the increase is “driven largely by an increased number of individuals fleeing authoritarian regimes in Cuba and Nicaragua.”

  • More than 49,000 of the migrant encounters in December 2022 involved Mexicans, 44,064 involved Cubans, 35,490 involved Nicaraguans, 18,020 involved Colombians, CBP data show.

The US is currently home to more than 50 million immigrants, who account for 15% of the US population. About one million immigrants (including over 100 thousand Mexicans) obtain lawful permanent resident status in the US each year.


Note: The encounter statistics in this dataset include both Title 8 and Title 42 enforcement actions by US Customs and Border Patrol.

Title 8 enforcement actions refers to apprehensions or inadmissibles processed under CBP’s immigration authority. Inadmissibles refers to individuals encountered at ports of entry who are seeking lawful admission into the United States but are determined to be inadmissible, individuals presenting themselves to seek humanitarian protection under US laws, and individuals who withdraw an application for admission and return to their countries of origin within a short timeframe. Apprehensions refers to the physical control or temporary detainment of a person who is not lawfully in the U.S. which may or may not result in an arrest.

Title 42 expulsions refers to individuals encountered by USBP and OFO and expelled to the country of last transit or home country in the interest of public health. To help prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into border facilities and into the United States, persons subject to the Title 42 order will not be held in congregate areas for processing and instead will immediately be expelled to their country of last transit.

—US Customs and Border Protection, CBP Enforcement Statistics Fiscal Year 2022 

US Southwest Land Border: Total Encounters by US CBP Untitled CBP Encounters by Enforcement Type Untitled
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