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  4. CBP Releases May 2023 Monthly Operational Update

CBP Releases May 2023 Monthly Operational Update

Release Date
Tue, 06/20/2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released operational statistics today for May 2023, which show that more than half of the U.S. Border Patrol’s encounters in May occurred prior to the lifting of the CDC’s Title 42 Public Health Order. View the CBP Monthly Reports.

“As a result of comprehensive planning and preparation efforts, there has been a significant reduction in encounters along the Southwest border since the return to full Title 8 immigration enforcement on May 12. As we continue to execute our plans –including delivering strengthened consequences for those who cross unlawfully while expanding access to lawful pathways and processes– we will continue to monitor changes in encounter trends and adjust our response as necessary,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of CBP Commissioner Troy A. Miller. “At the same time, CBP remained laser-focused on our national and economic security missions this month: managing increased passenger throughput at the start of a busy summer travel season and increasing seizures of dangerous drugs by 10% over April.”

CBP Southwest Border Enforcement Numbers for May 2023

CBP has been executing the Department’s comprehensive plan to secure our borders and build a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system. This includes providing meaningful consequences for those who enter without authorization, placing such individuals into expedited removal proceedings in record numbers and applying conditions on asylum eligibility through the new Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule. Those who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed and are subject to a minimum 5-year bar on reentry as well as potential prosecution for repeated reentry. As a result, Southwest border encounters significantly declined in May.

In May 2023, the U.S. Border Patrol recorded 169,244 encounters between ports of entry along the Southwest border, a decrease of 25% from May 2022. The Office of Field Operations recorded 35,317 encounters at Southwest border ports of entry, including 28,696 individuals who presented with CBP One appointments. CBP’s total encounters along the Southwest border in May were 204,561, a decrease of 15% from May 2022.

More than half of the U.S. Border Patrol’s encounters in May occurred prior to the lifting of the CDC’s Title 42 public health Order. From May 1 - 11, U.S. Border Patrol encountered 98,850 individuals between ports of entry along the Southwest border. After the termination of the order as of 11:59 pm ET on May 11 through the end of the month on May 31, U.S. Border Patrol’s encounters between ports of entry along the Southwest border were 70,394.

  • For the period from May 12 - 31, CBP averaged 3,500 U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) encounters in between ports of entry per day and 1,273 per day at ports of entry, which includes 1,043 CBP One Office of Field Operations (OFO) encounters at ports of entry per day.

CBP continues to enforce U.S. immigration law and apply consequences to those who enter without authorization and do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States. With the Title 42 public health Order no longer in place, CBP is processing 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 subject to additional long-term consequences beyond removal from the United States, including bars to admission and future immigration benefits. Individuals who cross unlawfully or arrive at a Port of Entry without a CBP One appointment are subject to the lawful pathways rule, which places common-sense conditions on asylum eligibility, with certain exceptions.

Among CBP’s 204,561 total Southwest border encounters in May 2023, encounters with single adults decreased by 6% compared to April 2023, encounters with unaccompanied children decreased by 13%, and encounters with family unit individuals increased by 5%.

Single Adults

  • Almost two-thirds (65%) of all Southwest land border encounters were single adults, with 133,097 encounters in May, a 6% decrease compared to April.
    • From May 1 - 11, 2023, CBP encounters with single adults totaled 71,816, compared with 61,281 encounters with single adults from May 12 - 31, 2023. That represents a 53% decrease from an average of 6,529 encounters per day from May 1 - 11 to 3,064 encounters per day May 12 - 31.

Unaccompanied Children

  • Encounters of unaccompanied children decreased 13%, with 9,943 encounters in May compared with 11,455 in April. In May, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 435 per day, compared with an average of 500 per day in April.
    • From May 1 - 11, 2023, CBP encounters with unaccompanied children totaled 4,474, compared with 5,469 encounters with unaccompanied children from May 12 - 31, 2023. That represents a 33% decrease from an average of 407 encounters per day from May 1 - 11 to 273 encounters per day May 12 - 31.

Family Unit Individuals

  • Encounters of family unit individuals increased by 5% from 58,369 in April 2023 to 61,319 in May 2023, which is a 29% decrease from the peak of 86,631 in August 2021.
    • From May 1 - 11, 2023, CBP encounters with family unit individuals totaled 32,300, compared with 29,019 encounters with family unit individuals from May 12 -31, 2023. That represents a 51% decrease from an average of 2,936 encounters per day from May 1 - 11 to 1,451 encounters per day May 12 - 31.

Title 42 Expulsions and Title 8 encounters

  • 30,150 encounters, equal to 15% of total encounters in May, were processed for expulsion under Title 42 before the public health Order ended at 11:59 pm ET on May 11, 2023. 174,411 encounters were processed under Title 8 in May, including 78,559 Title 8 encounters from May 1 - 11, 2023, and 95,852 Title 8 encounters from May 12 - 31, 2023.
    • 26,216 encounters involving single adults (20% of all single adult encounters) were processed for expulsion under Title 42 in May, with 106,881 single adults processed under Title 8 (80% of all single adult encounters). There were 45,600 Title 8 encounters with single adults from May 1 - 11, 2023, and 61,281 Title 8 encounters with single adults from May 12 - 31, 2023.
    • 3,848 encounters involving family unit individuals (6% of all family unit individuals) were processed for expulsion under Title 42, with 57,471 processed under Title 8 (94% of all family unit individuals). There were 28,452 Title 8 encounters with family unit individuals from May 1 - 11, 2023, and 29,019 Title 8 encounters with family unit individuals from May 12 - 31, 2023.

Unique and Repeat Encounters

  • The number of unique individuals encountered by CBP along the Southwest border decreased 2% from 139,406 in April 2023 to 136,673 in May 2023.
  • Among CBP’s 204,561 overall encounters along the Southwest border in May 2023, 20% 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 fiscal years 2014 – 2019.

CBP Nationwide Total Encounters for FY23TD through May: 2,096,346

Unique Southwest Border Encounters by Select Citizenships

SW Border Cuba Haiti Nicaragua Venezuela Mexico / N. Central America
23-May 907 440 363 23,154 54,140
% Unique 0.70% 0.30% 0.30% 17% 40%
23-Apr 281 307 297 25,514 54,766
% Unique .2% .2% .2% 18% 39%
23-Mar 140 314 163 3,085 62,543
% Unique .1%/p> .3% .1% 3% 53%
23-Feb 131 168 284 1,174 53,501
% Unique .1% .2% .3% 1.2% 57%
23-Jan 6,002 2,237 3,208 2,557 51,686
% Unique 6% 2% 3% 2% 48%
22-Dec 42,205 3,927 34,859 6,065 51,143
% Unique 20% 2% 16% 3% 24%
22-Nov 34,320 3,943 33,774 6,232 57,077
% Unique 18% 2% 18% 3% 30%
22-Oct 28,500 4,973 20,644 20,793 59,561
% Unique 16% 3% 11% 11% 33%
22-Sep 25,877 4,147 17,927 33,490 57,795
% Unique 14% 2% 10% 18% 32%
May change since Apr 2023 225% 42% 24% -7% -2%
Apr change since Mar 2023 101% -2% 82% 727% -12%
Mar change since Feb 2023 7% 87% -43% 163% 17%
Feb change Since Jan 2023 -99% -92% -91% -54% 4%
Jan change Since Dec 2022 -86% -43% -91% -58% 1%
Dec change Since Nov 2022 23% -.4% 3% -3% -10%
Nov change Since Oct 2022 20% -21% 64% -70% -4%
Oct change since Sept 2022 10% 20% 15% -38% 3%
Sep change since Aug 2022 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

CBP announced changes to the CBP One app in May to allow for scheduling of presentation for noncitizens seeking to be processed under Title 8 after May 11, 2023 and expanded to 1,000 available appointments per day in May. (Appointments were further expanded to 1,250 beginning June 1, which will be reflected in subsequent reporting). The CBP One application transitioned to a new daily appointment allocation scheduling process to allow for more flexibility and access to the scheduling system by making appointments available for 23 hours each day instead of at a designated time.

From January 12, when the scheduling function was introduced, until May 31, 2023, more than 106,000 individuals used the CBP One mobile application to schedule an appointment to present at a southwest border port of entry for inspection. The top nationalities that have scheduled an appointment are Haitian, Venezuelan, and Mexican. From May 1 to May 11, CBP ports of entry processed over 7,000 Title 42 exception requests under Title 42 using the CBP One application. From May 12 to May 31, CBP ports of entry processed over 20,000 individuals with an appointment scheduled through the CBP One application. Inadmissible noncitizens with an appointment are included in the overall Title 8 encounters number for the month of May. Scheduling an appointment in CBP One provides a safe, orderly, and humane process for noncitizens who may wish to claim asylum to access ports of entry rather than attempting to enter the United States irregularly. The CBP One app is also used to support the USCIS parole processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans.

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 May 2021 May 2022 % May 2022
Change from May
May 2023 % May 2023
Change from May
% May 2023 Change from May
Travelers Arriving by Air 4,042,578 8,718,143 115.66% 10,759,470 166.15% 23.41%
Passenger Vehicles Processed at Ports of Entry 5,100,582 7,478,193 46.61% 8,184,249 60.46% 9.44%
Pedestrian Travelers 2,454,876 3,478,904 41.71% 3,822,899 55.73% 9.89%
Commercial Trucks 1,045,854 1,121,487 7.23% 1,165,467 11.44% 3.92%

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 May 2023, CBP processed more than $2.8 million entry summaries valued at more than $273 billion, identifying estimated duties of nearly $6.9 billion to be collected by the U.S. government. In May, trade via the ocean environment accounted for 42% of the total import value, followed by air, truck, and rail.

In May 2023, CBP stopped 460 shipments valued at more than $197 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 May 2023, CBP seized 1,980 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $216 million.

CBP completed 26 audits that identified $1 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 $3.9 million of this identified revenue and from previous fiscal years’ assignments.

Drug Seizures

As announced in a press release at the end of May, CBP and DHS partner agencies seized nearly 10,000 pounds of fentanyl over the course of two months as part of Operations Blue Lotus and Four Horsemen. These surge efforts to curtail the flow of illicit fentanyl smuggled into the United States from Mexico demonstrate CBP’s success in protecting American communities and disrupting the operations of transnational criminal organizations.

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 10% in May compared to April. More than 90 percent of fentanyl is trafficked in cars and trucks through ports of entry.

CBP’s fentanyl seizures have increased more than 400 percent since fiscal year 2019 and our fiscal year 2023 seizures of fentanyl have already surpassed the fiscal year 2022 seizure total. CBP seized more than 19,800 pounds of fentanyl from October 2022 through May 2023 as compared with about 7,600 pounds from October 2021 through May 2022.

Additional CBP drug seizure statistics.

Agriculture Stats/Seizures – Securing American Agriculture

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

  • CBP issued 6,007 emergency action notifications for restricted and prohibited plant and animal products entering the United States.
  • CBP conducted 98,899 positive passenger inspections and issued 691 civil penalties and/or violations to the traveling public for failing to declare prohibited agriculture items.


Last Modified: Jan 04, 2024