Examining Claims of 7.2M Migrants Illegally Crossing the US Border Under Biden’s Administration

Joe Biden
Evelyn Hockstein/AFP/Getty Images

Recently, a claim has circulated on social media asserting that more than 7.2 million migrants illegally crossed into the U.S. via the Southwest border during President Joe Biden’s administration, surpassing the individual populations of 36 states. Let’s delve into the facts surrounding this assertion.

As of January 2024, the reported number of over 7.2 million migrants pertains to documented border encounters with U.S. officials, as indicated by data available on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. It’s crucial to clarify that this figure does not represent a surge in the overall immigrant population but rather reflects interactions with authorities at the border.

The claim originated from a post on X, shared by many, presenting an image with a U.S. states map and attributing the information to a Fox News article published on Feb. 20, 2024. The Fox News headline mirrored the claim: “7.2M illegals entered the US under Biden admin, an amount greater than the population of 36 states.”

Upon fact-checking, it is confirmed that the 7.2 million figure is accurate in the context of documented border encounters. Snopes reached out to the White House for a response to the Fox News article, and a spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security affirmed that the Biden administration had “removed, returned, or expelled more migrants in three years than the prior Administration did in four years,” a statement supported by statistics available on the DHS website.

While the claim is accurate in its specified context, it is important to distinguish between border encounters and an increase in the overall immigrant population. The intricacies of the data and additional statements from DHS are further detailed below for a comprehensive understanding of the situation.

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