Border Patrol Encounters Plummet in Gov. Abbott’s Texas, Surge in Newsom’s California, Hobbs’ Arizona

Craig Bannister | February 23, 2024
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The number of U.S. Border Patrol encounters are down sharply in Texas this fiscal year, due to the effectiveness of Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star. Meanwhile, border encounters have spiked in California and Arizona, where more migrant-friendly Democrat governors are in charge.

Through Operation Lone Star, Gov. Abbott has installed wire fencing at the border, deployed floating border barriers and called out the Texas National Guard to deter illegal immigration.

And, his efforts have been successful.

Through the first four months of Fiscal Year 2024 (Oct.-Jan.), the number of U.S Border Patrol encounters of illegal aliens between ports of entry in Texas has fallen 27% (from 484,994 to 352,996) compared to the same period year-ago. Four of the state’s five Border Patrol sectors have recorded steep declines: El Paso (-50%), Big Bend (-70%), Laredo (-40%) and Rio Grande Valley (23%).

In the fifth sector, Del Rio, border encounters are down 1.3% from the first four months of FY2023.

However, in early January, Texas closed off the Del Rio Sector’s Shelby Park in Eagle Pass and, for the month, the number of illegal alien encounters plummeted 325% from the previous month and 41% from January 2023.

Last month, illegal alien encounters declined in all five sectors, compared to the previous January, with decreases ranging from 33% in Laredo Sector to 70% in Big Bend Sector.

Meanwhile, U.S. Border Patrol encounters between ports of entry in California, a self-professed “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants, are up 30% through the first four months of the fiscal year (from 97,779 in FY2023 to 127,309). In January, illegal alien encounters were 29% higher, compared to the same month the previous year (25,836 vs. 20,003 in Jan. 2023).

In January of 2023, illegal alien encounters in two Texas sectors – Del Rio (28,425) and El Paso (30,038) – exceeded those in the entire state of California (20,003). But, by January of this year, the counts for both Del Rio (16,712) and El Paso (17,515) had fallen well below California’s tally of 25,836.

In Arizona, led by Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs, illegal alien encounters between ports of entry by U.S. Border Patrol have surged 51% to 273,519 through the first four months of FY2024, up from 181,572 in the same period a year earlier.

The increase is entirely due to an onslaught of illegal aliens trying to sneak into the U.S. across the border in the Tucson Sector. In the first four months of FY2024, encounters between ports of entry in the Tucson sector are up 182%, from 88,741 to 250,661, compared to a year earlier. In every one of the first four months of FY2023, border encounters surged by at least 141%, compared to the same month a year earlier.

While Arizona has not openly declared that it welcomes, and will protect, illegal immigrants, Gov. Hobbs has not taken steps similar to those of Gov. Abbott to secure the border.

Thus, now that breaking into the country through the Texas border has become a much more daunting task, illegal aliens appear to be migrating westward to enter through states that are less zealous about securing their borders.