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  4. CBP Releases February 2023 Monthly Operational Update

CBP Releases February 2023 Monthly Operational Update

Release Date
Wed, 03/15/2023

Encounters between ports of entry remain at lowest level since February 2021.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection released operational statistics today for February 2023, which can be viewed on the CBP Enforcement Statistics page.

“The new border enforcement measures kept February’s overall encounter numbers nearly even

with January,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller. “We are also encouraged by the new functionality in the CBP One mobile application, which has provided migrants the ability to safely and easily schedule an appointment at a Port of Entry to request a humanitarian exception to the Title 42 public health order. The app cuts out the smugglers and decreases migrant exploitation. CBP continues to make improvements to the app to address feedback we have received from stakeholders.”

CBP Southwest Border Enforcement Numbers for February 2023

U.S. Border Patrol encounters of individuals who entered the country between Ports of Entry (POEs) at the southwest border in February 2023 totaled 128,877, approximately equal to the 128,913 encounters in January 2023. This marks the second month in a row as the lowest month of Border Patrol encounters since February 2021.

  • In February 2023, there were 39,206 (25%) repeat encounters and 94,124 (61%) unique encounters on the southwest border. The number of unique individuals encountered in February 2023 was 94,124 compared to 107,959 in January 2023, a 13% decrease in the number of unique individuals encountered the prior month.
    • 25% of encounters 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% for FY2014-2019.

CBP total encounters in February 2023 were 212,266, up approximately 2% from 208,511 in January 2023. This total includes Border Patrol encounters and includes noncitizens processed at Ports of Entry including individuals who sought an exception to the Title 42 public health order based on certain vulnerabilities and scheduled an appointment to present in advance via the CBP One mobile application.

  • Over two-thirds (71.4%) of all southwest border encounters were single adults, with 110,722 encounters in February, a 1.5% increase compared to January.
  • 72,591 encounters, 46.8% of the total, were processed for expulsion under Title 42. 82,407 encounters were processed under Title 8 immigration authorities.
    • 65,178 encounters involving single adults (58.9% of all single adult encounters) were processed for expulsion under the Title 42 public health order, with 45,544 processed under Title 8 (41.1% of all single adult encounters).
    • 7,215 encounters involving family unit individuals (21.7% of all family unit individuals) were processed for expulsion under the Title 42 public health order, with 25,976 processed under Title 8 (78.3% of all family unit individuals).

Unaccompanied Children

  • Encounters of unaccompanied children increased 16%, with 9,382 encounters in January compared with 10,870 in February. In February, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 438 per day, compared with an average of 332 per day in January and 570 per day in December.

Family Unit individuals

  • Encounters of family unit individuals decreased by 13% from 38,121 in January to 33,191 in February—which is a 62% decrease from the peak of 87,461 in August 2021.

The continued drop in Border Patrol encounters demonstrates the effectiveness of the measures announced by the Administration on January 5, 2023, expanding safe and orderly lawful processes for migration while applying consequences to those who do not avail themselves of those processes.

During February, 22,755 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans (including immediate family members where applicable) were paroled into the country by the CBP Office of Field Operations through the parole processes established for Venezuelans in October and expanded to the additional nationalities in January. Arrivals of noncitizens via these processes, which include careful vetting and require a supporter present in the United States, are a testament to the benefit of these lawful processes in promoting safe and orderly migration while reducing encounters along the southwest border.

Encounters of Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans between Ports of Entry at the southwest border declined from a 7-day average of 1,231 on the day of the announcement on January 5, to a 7-day average of 46 on February 28—a drop of 98%.

Unique SW Border Encounters by Select Citizenships

  Venezuela / Cuba / Nicaragua Mexico /
N. Central America
February 2023 1,591 53,552
% Unique Encounters 2% 57%
% Change from Feb 2022 95% decrease 12% decrease

Unique Southwest Border Encounters by Select Citizenships

SW Border Cuba Haiti Nicaragua Venezuela Mexico /
N. Central America
23-Feb 140 168 279 1172 53,552
% Unique (of total Encounters) .15% .18% .3% 1.3% 57%
23-Jan 6,053 2,238 3,223 2,552 52,109
% Unique (of total Encounters) 6% 2% 3% 2% 48%
22-Dec 42,183 3,928 34,868 6,067 51,457
% Unique (of total Encounters) 20% 2% 16% 3% 24%
22-Nov 34,321 3,946 33,784 6,253 57,569
% Unique (of total Encounters) 18% 2% 18% 3% 30%
22-Oct 28,499 4,975 20,648 20,804 60,025
% Unique (of total Encounters) 16% 3% 11% 11% 33%
22-Sep 25,871 4,146 17,936 33,494 58,092
% Unique (of total Encounters) 14% 2% 10% 18% 32%
Feb change Since Jan -98% -92% -91% -54% 3%
Jan change Since Dec -86% -43% -91% -58% 1%
Dec change Since Nov 23% -1% 3% -3% -11%
Nov change Since Oct 20% -21% 64% -70% -4%
Oct change since Sept 10% 20% 15% -38% 3%
Sep change since Aug 37% -23% 58% 33% 2%

Note: Unique encounters include persons not previously encountered in the prior 12 months.
Source: Office of Immigration Statistics analysis of CBP data.


CBP One™ App

In February, CBP processed over 20,000 individuals at POEs as exceptions to the Title 42 public health order based on an individual vulnerability assessment using the newly available functionality in the CBP One™ mobile application. While the high demand for these appointments has meant that not all individuals seeking appointments have yet been able to schedule them (individuals commonly waited more than three months in shelters to be considered under the Title 42 exception process before the use of CBP One™), the transition of the exceptions process to CBP One™ allows more open access and has provided immediate benefits in reducing the exploitation of vulnerable persons seeking to present at POEs. Since inception, over 40,000 individuals have scheduled an appointment via CBP One™ and the top nationalities who have done so are Venezuelan and Haitian.

CBP Nationwide Total Encounters for FY23TD through February: 1,285,056

Ongoing Migration Management Efforts

CBP continues to enforce U.S. immigration law and the Title 42 public health order 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 public health order. Once the Title 42 public health order is no longer in place, CBP will process all individuals encountered at the border 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.

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 February 2021 February 2022 %
February 2022
Change from
February 2023 % February 2023
Change from February
% February 2023 Change from February 2022
Travelers Arriving by Air 1,886,749 5,380,252 185.16% 8,511,785 351.13% 58.20%
Passenger Vehicles Processed at Ports of Entry 4,170,534 5,851,382 40.30% 7,022,160 68.38% 20.01%
Pedestrian Travelers 1,815,599 2,938,530 61.85% 3,300,924 81.81% 12.33%
Commercial Trucks 939,383 966,535 2.89% 1,004,202 6.90% 3.90%

Since COVID-related travel restrictions were eased on November 8, 2021, CBP has processed increased numbers of arriving travelers without any significant delays. The rules allow noncitizen, non-lawful permanent resident travelers 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

In February 2023, CBP processed more than 2.6 million entry summaries valued at more than $241 billion, identifying estimated duties of nearly $6.3 billion to be collected by the U.S. government. In February, trade via the ocean environment accounted for more than 41.08 percent of the total import value, followed by air, truck, and rail.

In February 2023, CBP identified 481 shipments valued at more than $109 million for further examination based on the suspected use of forced labor, and that may be subject to a Withhold Release Order, Forced Labor Finding, or the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act’s rebuttable presumption, and, therefore, 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 February 2023, CBP seized 1,590 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $182.4 million.

CBP completed 22 audits that identified $6.5 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 $7 million of this identified revenue and revenue 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 increased 6% in February compared to January. Seizures by weight were as follows:

  • Cocaine seizures decreased 18%
  • Methamphetamine increased 22%
  • Heroin seizures increased 99%
  • Fentanyl seizures increased 58%

Additional information can be found on the Drug Seizure Statistics page.

Agriculture Stats/Seizures – Securing American Agriculture

In February 2023, CBP agriculture specialists helped protect America’s agriculture, natural resources, and economic prosperity.

  • CBP issued 5,432 emergency action notifications for restricted and prohibited plant and animal products entering the United States.
  • CBP conducted 81,368 positive passenger inspections and issued 673 civil penalties and/or violations to the traveling public for failing to declare prohibited agriculture items.


Last Modified: Jan 05, 2024