Senate Confirms That Over 860K Illegal Aliens ‘Got Away’ Last Year

 January 25, 2024

In a bipartisan effort that could reshape the American immigration landscape, negotiations are underway in the Senate.

Senate leaders are working on a deal to tackle the surge in illegal immigration by expanding legal pathways.

Negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. James Lankford signal a potential legislative response to a highly contentious issue. The proposed immigration reform is ambitious, aiming to substantially increase the number of green cards and expedite work permits. This legislative push comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing unprecedented levels of undocumented entries.

Record Levels of Undocumented Entries

Recent figures from the Department of Homeland Security underscore the urgency of these negotiations. Under President Biden's administration, the first three years have seen record-breaking numbers of illegal border crossings.

The Congressional Budget Office's startling report indicated that around 860,000 "got-aways" — illegal aliens who have evaded the Border Patrol — entered the U.S. undetected in the last fiscal year.

This number not only topples previous records but also surpasses the combined populations of significant American cities. The alarming statistics have sparked calls for action and accountability, particularly directed at the Department of Homeland Security. Sen. Josh Hawley's correspondence with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas underscores this demand for transparency.

Political Responses to the Border Crisis

As the border crisis intensifies, political figures on both sides of the aisle have voiced their concerns. Sen. Hawley, in his letter to Secretary Mayorkas, pointedly asks for clarity on the number of undocumented entrants.

These ‘got-aways’ outnumber the combined populations of Kansas City and St. Louis, the two largest cities in Missouri. At the very least, you owe the American people full transparency into what your Department knows about illegal immigrants who have entered our nation without being stopped or tracked. It is abundantly clear that the longer you remain in office, the worse the crisis at our southern border becomes.

The bipartisan nature of the proposed deal reflects an understanding that immigration issues transcend party lines. Yet, the scale of undocumented immigration under the current administration, with nearly 2 million successful evasions, has become a flashpoint for criticism.

A Closer Look at the Proposed Immigration Deal

The Schumer-Lankford deal is about addressing illegal immigration and expanding legal immigration channels. By increasing green cards by 50,000 annually and allowing up to 35,000 illegal aliens at the border each week before initiating border controls, the deal represents a significant shift in policy. The balance between managing the influx at the border and providing legal avenues for immigration is delicate.

Reports of over 300,000 encounters with illegal immigrants in a single month suggest the scale of the challenge. These figures potentially mark an all-time high, underscoring the need for a solution that strengthens border security and offers legal immigration options.

The CBO's estimate of 6.2 million illegal aliens entering the U.S. since late January 2021 further highlights the gravity of the situation.

The Broader Implications of Immigration Policy

The ongoing negotiations and potential deal have repercussions that extend beyond immigration statistics. They touch on the very fabric of American society and its values. The debate surrounding this issue is not just about numbers but about the nation's approach to welcoming newcomers while ensuring security and order.

Andrew R. Arthur from the Center for Immigration Studies raises an unsettling question regarding the individuals who evade detection at the border:

How many of those ‘got-aways’ are criminals, drug smugglers, or terrorists? By definition, there’s no way to know — until it’s too late.


The Schumer-Lankford immigration negotiations represent a crucial juncture for U.S. immigration policy amid a backdrop of record illegal immigration.

The deal seeks to increase legal immigration avenues while addressing the surge of undocumented entrants that has brought bipartisan concern among lawmakers.

The record-breaking figures released by the CBO and the spotlight on DHS's handling of the crisis underscore the need for a balanced and effective response. As discussions continue, the outcome of these negotiations will have a lasting impact on America's approach to immigration and border security.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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