CBO shock: At least 860,000 border ‘gotaways’ in 2023

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that border officials witnessed but did not catch 860,000 illegal immigrants crossing into the United States last year, more than double the number of “gotaways” who entered when President Joe Biden entered office and dismantled border policies.

In its new Demographic Outlook: 2024 to 2054, the CBO explained that the 860,000 “comprises people who were directly or indirectly observed making an unlawful entry, who were not turned back or apprehended, and who are no longer being pursued by the Border Patrol.”

By comparison, there were 389,515 gotaways in fiscal 2021 and nearly 600,000 in fiscal 2022.

That is on top of hundreds of thousands the administration concedes it encountered and let into the U.S. and the 430,000 who overstayed their visas last year.

Former immigration Judge Andrew Arthur, now a legal analyst with the Center for Immigration Studies, called the new numbers proof that under Biden, there has been a “gotaway tsunami.” He said the 860,000 who slipped in are about equal to the population of Charlotte, North Carolina.

In a new CIS blog post, Arthur suggested the huge increase in gotaways is partly the result of border agents being pulled off their jobs to process the record numbers of illegal immigrants entering the country through border entry points.

The House resolution denouncing Joe Biden’s “open-borders policies” isn’t binding, so it doesn’t mean much. The vote on it speaks volumes, however, about the concerns Democratic incumbents in tight races have about those policies. https://t.co/QJPcZ94QEp @CIS_org

— Center for Immigration Studies (@CIS_org) January 19, 2024

He said that unlike those seeking work or a better life, those trying to sneak in often are criminals.

Arthur, who has held several key immigration jobs, wrote that those with a serious criminal record in the U.S. already or who are wanted by their home government do not want to encounter border officers.


Ditto for known drug smugglers.

“We know that despite those efforts, drugs continue to be successfully smuggled over the border and onto our streets. How many aliens with terrorist intentions have done the same thing? Ideally, we’ll figure that out before it’s too late, but when you’re talking about nearly 2 million gotaways in three years, it may already be too late,” Arthur said.