Although October’s encounters with illegal border crossers are lower than September’s all-time record-breaking high, they are still a nearly 10,000 encounter increase from October 2022. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that the “total encounters along the southwest border in October were 240,988, a decrease of 11% from September 2023.”

However, September’s numbers were the highest ever recorded since the federal government began tracking the data in 2000, with 269,735 total encounters.

In federal fiscal year 2023, which ended in September, CBP encountered 2,475,669 illegal border crossers. This is a greater number of people than the entire population of Houston.

Encounters along the southwest border have continually increased year-to-year since President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January of 2021. 

October 2023 saw 240,988 encounters. In comparison, October 2022 saw 231,529, while October 2021 saw 164,827. 

During former President Donald Trump’s last months in office, October 2020 saw only 71,929 encounters along the entire southwest border. Granted, encounters in 2020 decreased partly due to the impact of COVID-19.

The consequences of lax border control have been wreaking havoc across the state and beyond, with 12 terror watchlist suspects also encountered along the southwest border in October. 

Texas is currently considering two pieces of legislation to fund border barrier infrastructure and create a criminal penalty for illegal entry or illegal presence in the state.  

The fourth legislative special session ends December 6. 

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.