For the first time ever, U.S. border agents encountered over 3.2 million illegal aliens on America’s borders in a single fiscal year, a number that is greater than the combined population of Hawaii, Alaska, and Vermont.  

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CPB, reported Saturday that agents encountered 3,201,144 illegal immigrants at or between ports of entry to the country between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023. That is the equivalent of 8,770 a day.

According to the data, Customs and Border Protection encountered 434,562 more illegal aliens in fiscal year 2023 than in fiscal year 2022.  (The federal government’s fiscal year runs from October through September.)

“Once again, the Biden administration has the distinction of setting a record—unfortunately, it’s historically bad,” Simon Hankinson, a senior research fellow for The Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center, told The Daily Signal, which is Heritage’s news outlet.

“September saw the highest number of inadmissible aliens ever to cross our borders,” Hankinson said, referring to CPB’s reported 341,392 encounters—about 11,379 a day—with illegal immigrants at the southern border last month.

“September is yet another bleak milestone in U.S. history and the annals of governmental incompetence,” he said. “Not only are ‘encounters’ by U.S. agents at the southern border the worst ever, but northern numbers are at unprecedented levels too.”

At the southern border with Mexico, agents encountered a total of 2,475,669 illegal aliens in all of fiscal 2023, CPB reported, which is equivalent to 6,782 migrants a day and 96,725 more than in fiscal 2022.

At the northern border with Canada, agents encountered another 189,402 illegal aliens in fiscal 2023, which is equivalent to 518 migrants a day and 79,867 more than the previous year, the agency said.

Elected officials recently raised concerns over an increase in crossings into America at the southern border by foreign nationals whose home countries have links to terrorism.

Data obtained by Fox News shows that agents apprehended 6,386 nationals from Afghanistan between ports of entry in the two years between October 2021 and October 2023, as well as 3,153 from Egypt, 659 from Iran, and 538 from Syria. Fox said those numbers were confirmed by multiple Customs and Border Protection sources.

In March, the White House touted President Joe Biden’s border security policies.

“President Biden has taken historic steps to secure our border and rebuild a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that was gutted by the previous administration,” the White House said, referring to the Trump administration.

“The {Biden] administration has also put in place new measures to enhance security at the border and reduce the number of individuals crossing unlawfully between ports of entry while expanding and expediting legal pathways for orderly migration for individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela,” according to the White House’s March press release.  

Upon becoming president in January 2021, Biden stopped the Trump administration’s construction of a wall along America’s border with Mexico, fulfilling his campaign promise to not add “another foot of wall.”

But two weeks ago, the Biden administration announced it would build another 17 miles of border wall in Starr County, Texas.

Biden said he “can’t stop” construction of the border wall because the money was appropriated for it under the Trump administration and the Republican-led House declined to reappropriate the funds for other purposes.  

Biden has faced criticism from both the political Right and Left over conditions at the southern border.  

A recent Fox News poll of about 1,000 registered voters found that 66% of Americans disapprove of how Biden is handling border security. Fully 71% of those surveyed agreed that the current level of border security isn’t strict enough.

And 57 of every 100 surveyed said they support building a wall along the border with Mexico, Fox reported.  

Data released earlier this month by the House Judiciary Committee reveals that at least 3.8 million illegal aliens either have been released into the nation’s interior or successfully evaded Border Patrol agents to enter the country since Biden took office Jan. 20, 2021.   

During the first 26 months of Biden’s presidency, the Department of Homeland Security, parent agency to CBP, released “at least 2,148,738 illegal aliens into the United States,” according to the Judiciary Committee report.

The report notes that an additional 1.7 million “known ‘gotaways’” successfully evaded Border Patrol agents and entered the United States, bringing to 3.8 million the total estimated number of illegal aliens who arrived and stayed under the Biden administration. That number exceeds the population of 22 different states as well as the District of Columbia.   

This news report was modified within 24 hours of publication to correct the number of illegal aliens encountered at the northern border.

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