After two-and-half years of raising the alarm on the wide-open southern border and continually saying that things will get worse, the truth is far worse than even we imagined. The fiscal year 2023 numbers under President Joe Biden have been released and the numbers are astonishing and the failure to secure our nation frightening. 

As expected, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), once again, released the numbers at the end of the work week in an attempt to bury the news. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tried to escape scrutiny by releasing the numbers on a Saturday.

The administration has never done this before. Mayorkas’ attempts to put his head in the sand expose the fact that the administration is well aware that their policy is failing the American people.


It is a policy that began during Biden’s first year in office. That year, the administration had a historic record of illegal immigration. Biden overturned the majority of then-President Donald Trump’s policies within weeks after taking office and within a matter of months, the administration took the most secure border in our lifetime (illegal immigration at a 45-year low), and created a historic, never-been-seen crisis on our border.

A review of total nationwide encounters (TNWE) proves what we have been saying all along: that the administration’s policy is to allow for the flow of illegal migration into our great nation. Let us explain, and for this we are using the TNWE rather than just the southwest border numbers for an obvious reason.

Why? The Biden administration is attempting to hide the massive failure they have allowed to occur at the border. This administration started running massive amounts of illegal aliens through numerous ports of entry, calling these mass migration movements “legal pathways.”

These movements, however, are not legal. The administration’s failures are not just southern border related but Biden officials have also allowed thousands of people to be brought in the U.S. through our nation’s biggest airports. We will not let them hide from the truth so here are the numbers.

In FY20 the Trump administration saw a total of 646,822 total encounters. This number may seem to be high but remember, we ended catch and release, therefore the vast majority were immediately removed. 

The first year under Biden we saw more than a 200% increase with 1,956,519 encounters, a historic record. The second year we saw 2,766,582, a new historic record. The latest number released today shows 3,201,144, an even newer historic record, 400% higher than the last year under Trump. 

On top of that we also saw a total of 169 aliens arrested who were on the FBI’s terror watch list, also a historic record. The 169 number was higher than the previous six years combined.

The historic records continue in other areas as well. On top of historic illegal immigration and historic number of known or suspected terrorists at the border, we have nearly 1.7 million “known gotaways” since Biden has taken office.

This September 2023 was the highest monthly total of any month ever recorded. In summary, FY21-23 total nationwide encounters stand at approximately 7.9 million and if you add the 1.7 million known gotaways, you are at 9.6 million aliens entering this country under the Biden administration with over a year to go.

There are unknown gotaway numbers, too, which need to be added since not all areas of the border have the technology to capture the image. The number of unknown gotaways could be higher than another million.

The consequences of our nation’s failed border system put every American’s life at risk. It’s a dangerous game that has allowed our adversaries to penetrate our weak border security.

We strongly believe that these numbers are no accident. This crisis is not because of mismanagement or incompetence. It is by design.

The administration’s open borders policy has caused a tsunami of unintended consequences. The growing number of people crossing illegally into the nation has overwhelmed the Border Patrol and it has caused a majority of Border Agents, somewhere between 70-90%, to be pulled off patrol to deal with the humanitarian crisis. 

We’ve seen the examples of the Biden administration’s epic failure over the past three years. Anyone who goes to the border can see it if they travel to the major illegal alien crossing points.

It begins in the early morning hours as smugglers move in hundreds of people forcing Border Patrol agents to be pulled from the front lines. They are then moved to process the overcrowded stations, leaving hundreds of miles without a single agent on patrol.


The criminal cartels of Mexico have operational control of our borders, and they decide what crosses and when. They send large groups to overwhelm agents. The lack of security along these major gaps opens the gateway for fentanyl and other narco-trafficking.

These failures are also known to terrorist organizations and adversarial nations. There is a high probability that terrorists have slipped through without being encountered by Border Patrol or other law enforcement agencies.

There are thousands upon thousands of criminals who will not surrender to the patrol and many times evade arrest. The border becomes a sieve for these criminal networks, using the border as a gateway for illegal activity.

There is nothing redeeming about Biden’s open-border policy. The American people are the losers in his scheme of lies. The numbers tell the truth and the stories of victims on both sides of the border should be sufficient to return to Trump era policies.

This should be a bi-partisan issue, so the question remains, what is the purpose for leaving our national security exposed? We need to demand that the Biden administration answer these questions and be held responsible if, or more likely when, our enemies use the border to target the American people.

Thomas Homan formerly served as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the Trump administration. He has devoted nearly 34 years of his life to immigration and law enforcement positions. He is one of the founders of