Although the number of illegal border crossings has been on the decline in recent months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data reveals the number of illegal aliens with criminal backgrounds entering the U.S. has spiked in recent years. 

Recently released numbers from CBP show that Border Patrol agents recorded 117,900 encounters at the southwest border at ports of entry. 

However, since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2024, more than 13,000 “criminal noncitizens” have attempted to cross the border and have been apprehended by Border Patrol agents—a stark increase from 4,269 in FY 2019. 

According to CBP, “criminal noncitizens” are “individuals who have been convicted of one or more crimes, whether in the United States or abroad, prior to interdiction by the U.S. Border Patrol.”

During Donald Trump’s presidency, the number of criminal illegal aliens apprehended at the border had been on a decline. CBP recorded 8,531 apprehensions in 2017; 6,698 in 2018; 4,269 in 2019; and 2,438 in 2020. 

However, after President Joe Biden assumed office, the numbers rose, with 10,763 apprehensions in 2021; 12,028 in 2022; and 15,267 in 2023.

Many of the criminal illegal aliens caught by Border Patrol have been convicted of heinous crimes, including 814 for assault, battery, or domestic violence; 23 for homicide and manslaughter; and 168 for sexual offenses. 

Many of these criminal illegal aliens have crossed the Texas-Mexico border. 

Venezuelan national, Bernardo Castro Mata, crossed the border in Eagle Pass in July 2023. Last month, Mata was arrested after shooting two New York City police officers in Queens. 

Another illegal alien, Christian Geovanny Inga-Landi from Ecuador, also crossed into the U.S. in Eagle Pass. He was arrested by the New York Police Department in connection with the rape of a 13-year-old girl. 

Additionally, two illegal aliens accused of raping and murdering a 12-year-old Houston girl entered the country through El Paso. The two lured the young girl under a bridge, stripped off her clothes below the waist, and assaulted her for two hours before dumping her body in a bayou.

Additionally, multiple criminal illegal aliens have been arrested in Texas in connection to serious violent crimes. 

Earlier this month, an illegal alien on Texas’ most wanted list was arrested by the Department of Public Safety special agents from the Criminal Investigations Division for crimes including aggravated sexual assault of a child, indecent sexual contact with a minor, and failing to ID as a fugitive.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from the Enforcement and Removal Operations units in Houston and Waco also apprehended five illegal alien fugitives wanted for murder or homicide in the United States and Mexico. 

Kinney County Attorney Brent Smith told Texas Scorecard, “The willful neglect of this administration’s refusal to enforce the immigration laws of our nation has resulted in countless Americans being murdered, raped, assaulted, and killed by criminal illegal aliens unlawfully within our borders. The recent murders of Lizbeth Median, Laken Riley, and Jocelyn Nungaray serve as a testament to the permanent separation those families have been forced to endure by losing their loved one.”

“The federal government has failed them in every way imaginable and continues to threaten the safety and security of our sovereign nation,” concluded Smith.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.