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Mayorkas Admits 600K ‘Gotaways’ Illegally Entered U.S. In FY 2023

  Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted before Congress on Tuesday that more than half a million immigrants illegally cros...

 Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted before Congress on Tuesday that more than half a million immigrants illegally crossed the southern border in fiscal year 2023 despite previously claiming it has been secure during the Biden administration.

Mayorkas testified before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee alongside FBI Director Christopher Wray and NCTC Director Christine Abizai for the annual “Threats to the Homeland” hearing.

When Kansas GOP Sen. Roger Marshall asked how many “gotaways” — referring to immigrants observed illegally entering the U.S. without being apprehended — did U.S. Border Patrol agents record in the last 12 months, Mayorkas said the number reached more than 600,000.

“I’m sure you are well aware the phenomenon of ‘gotaways’ is something that has been a challenge for the Department of Homeland Security for decades,” Mayorkas said. “In fact, it is a powerful example of a broken immigration system.”

Mayorkas has repeated at least 19 separate times in some variation that the southern border remains “secure,” according to members of the Senate committee.

But those claims consistently come under scrutiny, considering a Homeland Security GOP report recorded approximately 7.5 million illegal immigrant encounters nationwide, of which 6.2 million encounters were at the southwest border, in addition to 1.7 million known “gotaways” who evaded U.S. Border Patrol.

According to CBP data, authorities recorded about 2.48 million encounters in FY 2023 — the highest level in U.S. history. The latest figure is up 40% from FY 2021 and 4% from FY 2022.

Authorities reportedly flagged at least 280 of those individuals on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist over the last three years based on fiscal year-end and monthly migrant data reported by the federal agency.


“Americans feel less safe today than they did before the start of this administration, and your testimony has always solidified the view that American people, that they don’t have confidence in the job that you’re doing,” Marshall said. “This is why I believe the defining issue in this next election is going to be exactly this: Are our families safer today than they were three years ago?”

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson further pressed Mayorkas on the issue of illegal immigrants released by federal agents during the hearing on Tuesday.

“Where did these six million people go? Are you keeping track of them? To what extent do we have a handle on where these six million people are in America?” Johnson asked.

“As you well know, when an individual is indeed released, they are released into immigration enforcement proceedings and are subject to removal if they do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States,” Mayorkas said.

“You’re not answering that question,” Johnson said. “Where do these people reside?”

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