Total Number Of Illegal Immigrants Since 2021 Would Make It 13th-Most Populated State

Total Number Of Illegal Immigrants Since 2021 Would Make It 13th-Most Populated State

By Daniel Stefanski |

The number of illegal immigrants apprehended during Joe Biden’s tenure in the White House is adding up.

Last month, the Missouri Freedom Caucus shared a graphic, showing state populations versus the number of illegal immigrants encountered by border officials since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021. The number of illegal immigrants during this time frame was 8,500,000, which would make it the 13th-most populated U.S. state.

By comparison, Arizona has a population of 7,431,344.

The 8.5 million figure includes an estimate of over 1.7 million ‘gotaways’ who have escaped detection from law enforcement. Some experts, including border officials, believe that this number could be on the low end of the actual number of illegal immigrants sneaking past agents.

The escalating border crisis has taken center stage of many political discussions over the past year – especially in Arizona, where a divided government remains at odds with how to attack the grave problems from a state level. Arizona Republicans, who control both chambers of the state legislature, were active throughout 2023 in introducing proposals to combat the border crisis and to raise awareness for the issues faced by law enforcement and members of their communities alike.

Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs also took some action through her Office and her rhetoric has recently intensified against the federal government’s handling of the situation on the ground in her state.

At the start of the new legislative session, Republican leaders invited Arizona border sheriffs to come speak before a joint session in the State House of Representatives. After that event, Senate President Warren Petersen said, “Folks, we have a huge national security problem on our hands, and the federal government is nowhere to be found. Sheriff Mark Dannels described the invasion as the ugliest he’s ever seen it. Over the past 24 months, his deputies booked nearly 3,000 individuals for border crimes, engaged in more than 400 felony high-speed chases, and have been forced to release more than 30,000 illegals into our communities. Sheriff Wilmot showed disturbing images of the death and destruction his deputies are encountering in our communities from the cartel and human smugglers.”

Petersen also addressed the changing tone from Hobbs, writing, “While our Democrat Governor is speaking out against Biden’s handling of the border, we need her actions to match her words. She vetoed three good border bills last year. Governor, sign our border legislation.”

Arizona legislative Republicans also introduced new legislation this past month to mitigate the effects of the crisis at the southern border, holding a press conference to announce their proposals to “provide law enforcement with the support they need to defend our citizens against these threats.” One of the bills Republicans will seek to pass through the legislature, the Arizona Border Invasion Act, is sponsored by Senator Janae Shamp. The other bill highlighted by the Party was Senator David Gowan’s Aggravated Unlawful Flight Act.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

Governor Ducey Launches Border Strike Force

Governor Ducey Launches Border Strike Force

By Corinne Murdock |

On Tuesday, half of America’s governors launched a strike force to control the ongoing border crisis. The American Governor’s Strike Force was modeled after Governor Doug Ducey’s Arizona Border Strike Force, established in 2015. 

“If our entire southern border isn’t secure, our nation isn’t secure,” said Ducey. “As dangerous transnational criminal organizations continue to profit from holes in the border and fill our communities with drugs, it’s no coincidence that we’re seeing historic levels of opioid-related deaths.”

The American Governor’s Strike Force aims to improve intelligence on state crimes traceable to the border, cybersecurity, as well as tracking of drug trafficking and human smuggling.

The coalition of 26 governors launched the strike force in an effort to precede the Biden administration’s plan to lift Title 42 at the end of May. The policy allows expedited deportation of illegal immigrants from the country. Title 42 came into play in early 2020 under former President Donald Trump through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as an effort to control the COVID-19 spread.

As of the latest Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, there have been nearly 2.6 million encounters/apprehensions on the southern border since President Joe Biden took office. That doesn’t include “getaways,” estimated to be tens to hundreds of thousands of times more.

By comparison, there were over 2.4 million encounters/apprehensions under Trump’s entire tenure. 

2021 under Biden didn’t only reflect record highs in illegal immigrant apprehensions and encounters. Last year, transnational criminal organizations brought in around $3 billion from human smuggling. Additionally, fentanyl overdoses accounted for a record high of more than 77 percent of adolescent deaths in Arizona, as well as resulting in the leading cause of death for individuals aged 19 and younger.

Ducey and Texas Governor Greg Abbott teamed up last December to form the governors’ coalition. The pair recruited 24 other governors: those representing Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

In January, Ducey promised the strike force in his State of the State Address. Ducey characterized the strike force as a solution to the Biden administration’s lack of progress on controlling the border crisis. 

“Texas Governor Greg Abbott and I are teaming up to form the American Governors’ Border Strike Force: a commitment between states to do what the Biden administration is unwilling to do: patrol and secure our border,” said Ducey.

Ducey and Abbott’s initiative came after months of negotiations and proposals with the Biden administration to mitigate the crisis. Ducey cataloged those efforts in his latest press release announcing the strike force. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to