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  4. CBP Releases December 2022 Monthly Operational Update

CBP Releases December 2022 Monthly Operational Update

Release Date
Fri, 01/20/2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection released operational statistics today for December 2022, which can be viewed on the CBP Enforcement Statistics Fiscal Year 2023 page.

“The December update shows our new border enforcement measures are working. Even as overall encounters rose because of smugglers spreading misinformation around the court-ordered lifting of the Title 42 public health order, we continued to see a sharp decline in the number of Venezuelans unlawfully crossing our southwest border, down 82% from September 2022,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller. “Early data suggests the expanded measures for Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans are having a similar impact, and we look forward to sharing the additional data in the next update.

“Importantly, we are continuing to see a shifting migration pattern, with individuals from Mexico and northern Central America accounting for just 24% of unique encounters in December, a significant drop from the 42% they represented a year ago, as more migrants arrived from countries like Cuba and Nicaragua. This new migration challenge is not unique to the United States. There are 2.5 million Venezuelans now living in Colombia and 1.5 million in Peru; Brazil and Chile are hosting more than 350,000 Haitians, and the number of displaced Nicaraguans in Costa Rica has more than doubled in the last 12 months alone.

“December’s operational update also illustrate the dedication of the CBP workforce in seizing fentanyl and other contraband, and ensuring America’s economic security by facilitating travel and trade.”

CBP Southwest Border Enforcement Numbers for December 2022

In December, the large number of individuals fleeing failing communist regimes in Nicaragua and Cuba contributed to an increased number of migrants attempting to cross the border. Venezuelans, which previously constituted a part of that increase, continue to arrive at far lower numbers as a result of the migration enforcement process that includes expulsions to Mexico and lawful pathways. Venezuelans have dropped from roughly 1,100 a day the week before that process was announced, to roughly 100 a day consistently throughout December.

  • The number of unique individuals encountered on the southwest land border in December 2022 was 216,162, an 11 percent increase in the number of unique enforcement encounters from the prior month, driven largely by an increased number of individuals fleeing authoritarian regimes in Cuba and Nicaragua.
    • Of the total unique encounters at the Southwest Land Border in December 2022, 77,043 were from Cuba or Nicaragua, which represents 36% of unique encounters.
    • Individuals from Mexico and northern Central America accounted for 52,776 unique encounters in December 2022, which represents 24% of unique encounters and a 6% drop from December 2021. By comparison, Mexicans and Northern Central American migrants accounted for 42% of unique encounters in December 2021.

The Venezuelan migration enforcement process is working:

  • September 2022 Southwest Land Border (SBO) Venezuelan encounters
    = 33,804
  • October 2022 Southwest Land Border (SBO) Venezuelan encounters
    = 22,045
  • November 2022 Southwest Land Border (SBO) Venezuelan encounters
    = 7,957
  • December 2022 Southwest Land Border (SBO) Venezuelan encounters
    = 8,130

Unique SW Border Encounters by Select Citizenship

  Cuba / Nicaragua Mexico /
N. Central America
Dec-22 77,043 52,776 6039
% Unique 36 24 3
Nov-22 68,109 58,962 6252
% Unique 35 30 3
Oct-22 49,153 61,082 20,807
% Unique 26 33 11
Sep-22 43,808 58,088 33,494
% Unique 24 32 18
Dec. Change Since Nov 13 -10 -3
Nov. Change Since Oct 39 -3 -70
Oct change since Sept 12 5 -38
Sep change since Aug 45 2 33

Note: Unique encounters include persons not previously encountered in the prior 12 months.

Source: OIS analysis of CBP data.

CBP Nationwide Total Encounters for FY23TD through December: 863,929

  • The number of unique individuals encountered nationwide in December 2022 was 225,797, a 10 percent increase in the number of unique enforcement encounters than the prior month.
  • In total, there were 251,487 encounters along the southwest land border in December, a 7 percent increase compared to November. Of those, 14 percent involved individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months, compared to an average one-year re-encounter rate of 14 percent for FY2014-2019.
  • Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of all southwest land border encounters were single adults, with 161,808 encounters in December, a 2.3 percent increase compared to November.
  • 49,405 encounters, 20 percent of the total, were processed for expulsion under Title 42. 202,082 encounters were processed under Title 8.
    • 41,246 encounters involving single adults (25 percent of all single adult encounters) were processed for expulsion under Title 42, with 120,562 processed under Title 8 (75 percent of all single adult encounters).
    • 7,932 encounters involving family unit individuals (10 percent of all family unit individuals) were processed for expulsion under Title 42, with, 69,156 processed under Title 8 (90 percent of all family unit individuals).

Unaccompanied Children

  • Encounters of unaccompanied children decreased 6.4 percent, with 12,298 encounters in December compared with 13,136 in November. In December, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 570 per day, compared with an average of 597 per day in November.

Family Unit individuals

  • Encounters of family unit individuals increased by 22 percent from 63,316 in November to 77,088 in December —which is a 12 percent decrease from the peak of 87,461 in August 2021.

Ongoing Migration Management Efforts

CBP continues to enforce U.S. immigration law and apply consequences to those without a legal basis to remain in the United States. Current restrictions at the U.S. border have not changed; single adults and families encountered at the Southwest border will continue to be expelled, where appropriate, under the CDC’s Title 42 Order. Once the Title 42 public health order is no longer in place, CBP will process individuals encountered at the border without a legal basis to enter or stay using its longstanding Title 8 authorities.

Under Title 8, those who attempt to enter the United States without authorization, and who are unable to establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be quickly removed. Individuals who have been removed under Title 8 are also subject to additional long-term consequences beyond removal from the United States, including bars to future immigration benefits.

DHS has been executing a comprehensive and deliberate strategy to secure our borders and build a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system. The strategy is based on six pillars: surging resources; increasing efficiency to reduce strain on the border; employing an aggressive consequence regime; bolstering the capacity of NGOs and partner with state and local partners; going after cartels and smugglers; and working with our regional partners. This comprehensive plan leverages a whole-of-government approach to prepare for and manage the current and anticipated increases in encounters of noncitizens at our Southwest border. Read more about the DHS Plan for Southwest Border Security and Preparedness.

International Travel and Trade

One of CBP’s core mission objectives is to enhance the nation’s economic prosperity, including through the facilitation of lawful trade and travel. CBP continues to protect America’s national and economic security by facilitating legitimate trade while rigorously enforcing U.S. customs laws and regulations.

Count December 2020 December 2021 % December 2021 Change from December 2020 December 2022 % December 2022 Change from December 2020 % December 2022 Change from December
Travelers Arriving by Air 2,523,467 6,583,308 161% 9,523,954 277% 44.7%
Passenger Vehicles Processed at Ports of Entry 4,425,604 6,598,687 49.1% 7,800,968 76.3% 18.2%
Pedestrian Travelers 1,924,270 3,583,214 86.2% 3,810,196 98% 6.3%
Commercial Trucks 969,646 1,007,181 3.9% 962,509 -0.7% -4.4%

Since travel restrictions were eased on November 8, 2021 CBP has processed increased numbers of arriving travelers without any significant delays. The rules allow travelers who are non-U.S. persons to seek to enter the United States for non-essential travel via land ports of entry and ferry terminals, provided they are fully vaccinated and have appropriate documentation. The guidelines also allow most non-immigrants (non-U.S. citizens and other covered persons) who are fully vaccinated to travel by air to the United States, regardless of the reason for travel.

CBP tracks traveler numbers and wait times and continuously adjusts as needed to make the travel experience more efficient. Travelers can plan by doing the following:

  • Have a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative document, such as a passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, or Enhanced Tribal Card.
  • Possess proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC website.
  • Verbally attest to their travel intent and COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • Be prepared to present any documents requested by the CBP officer.

Trade Stats/Seizures – Protecting the American Consumer

CBP works diligently with the trade community and port operators to ensure that merchandise is cleared as efficiently as possible. CBP works with the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve border security. There are several programs by which CBP works with importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers to advance information about the shipments and expedite the inspection process at the ports of entry. CBP is available to conduct exams and is ready and willing to expand hours of operations if necessary to meet the growing demand for imported goods.

In December 2022 alone, CBP processed more than 2.5 million entry summaries valued at more than $260 billion, identifying estimated duties of nearly $6.8 billion to be collected by the U.S. government. In December, trade via the ocean environment accounted for more than 40 percent of the total import value, followed by air, truck, and rail.

In December 2022, CBP identified 310 entries valued at more than $59 million for further examination based on the suspected use of forced labor, and which may be subject to a Withhold Release Order, Forced Labor Finding, or the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act’s rebuttable presumption, and prohibited importation into the United States under 19 U.S.C. § 1307.

Intellectual property rights violations continue to put America’s innovation economy at risk. Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threaten the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, the livelihoods of American workers, and the health and safety of consumers.

In December 2022, CBP seized 1,501 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $178 million.

CBP completed 26 audits that identified $86.9 million in duties and fees owed to the U.S. government, stemming from goods that had been improperly declared in accordance with U.S. trade laws and customs regulations. CBP collected over $25 million of this identified revenue and from previous fiscal years’ assignments.

Drug Seizures

CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, and Air and Marine Operations agents continue to interdict the flow of illicit narcotics across the border. Nationwide, drug seizures (Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Fentanyl, and Marijuana) by weight increase 17.5 percent in December compared to November. Seizures by weight were as follows:

  • Cocaine seizures increased 32 percent
  • Methamphetamine decreased 4 percent
  • Heroin seizures increased 1 percent
  • Fentanyl seizures increased 52 percent

Additional CBP drug seizure statistics can be found here.

Agriculture Stats/Seizures – Securing American Agriculture

In December 2022, CBP agriculture specialists helped protect America’s agriculture, natural resources, and economic prosperity.

  • CBP issued 5,641 emergency action notifications for restricted and prohibited plant and animal products entering the United States.
  • CBP conducted 83,463 positive passenger inspections and issued 619 civil penalties and/or violations to the traveling public for failing to declare prohibited agriculture items.


Last Modified: Jan 05, 2024