By Daniel Stefanski |
A high-ranking Border Patrol official is sounding the alarm about the number of ‘gotaways’ in the month of October.
This week, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens posted on “X” that “over 18,000 gotaways” have been known to have escaped detection from law enforcement “in the first 16 days of Fiscal Year 2024.”
Chief Owens added that “these are individuals whose identities and purpose we do not know.”
The 2024 fiscal year just began this month of October. Ali Bradley, a National Correspondent for NewsNation, reported that there were “roughly 670,000 ‘gotaways’ for Fiscal Year 2023.”
During President Joe Biden’s three-year (and counting) tenure in the White House, there have been more than 1.7 million estimated ‘gotaways’ at the border, compared to just over 415,000 ‘gotaways’ for former President Donald J. Trump’s four years in office. Border officials and experts have varied theories and opinions on how to estimate groups of ‘gotaways’ – especially since some are known to cover their tracks, which are key to Border Patrol’s approximations in the field. The actual number of ‘gotaways’ could be much higher than the reports.
‘Gotaways’ could pose a serious danger to the homeland of America because, as Chief Owens stated, their identities and purpose for migrating to the United States are unknown. However, these ‘gotaways’ aren’t the only concern for border officials and local law enforcement.
With the rising tensions and violence in the Middle East this month, more attention has been given to the apprehensions of aliens crossing America’s border illegally from ‘special interest countries,’ which, according to a definition from the Department of Homeland Security, is “a non-U.S. person, who, based on an analysis of travel patterns, potentially poses a national security risk to the United States or its interests.” Bradley also reported this week that there were more than 76,000 migrants from ‘special interest countries’ arriving in the United States during the just-completed fiscal year.
Apprehensions of suspected terrorists have also created major fears for law enforcement and elected officials alike, who have seen those numbers drastically increase over the past few years. In the first eleven months of Fiscal Year 2023, officials encountered 151 individuals between ports of entry, who were flagged on the Terrorist Screening Dataset, compared to 98 in FY 2022 and 15 in FY 2021.
The counts of ‘gotaways’ and apprehensions of suspected terrorists and migrants from ‘special interest countries’ aside, the situation at the border has continued to spiral out of control on all fronts. Official numbers from the month of September have not been released as of Friday afternoon, but earlier this month, Fox News reported over 260,000 apprehensions for that month. If those numbers are accurate, which they usually are, that would put the number of apprehensions at the Southwest border for FY 2023 at just under 2,500,000 – an increase over FY 2022, which was a significant jump from FY 2021.
In Chief Owens’ communication about the number of ‘gotaways,’ he also writes, “That is why you need every Border Patrol agent to be in the field and on patrol” – something that the beleaguered and overwhelmed agency hasn’t been able to institute for the better part of the past decade with the exponential rise of illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.