CBP clarifies why there is talk of an exorbitant 64 million alleged asylum seekers

CBP clarifies why there is talk of an exorbitant 64 million alleged asylum seekers

The issue of immigration and asylum claims in the United States has always been a matter of debate and controversy. Recently, there has been much talk about the exorbitant sum of 64 million alleged asylum seekers mentioned in various reports.

However, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has clarified that this figure does not represent unique individuals, but rather the cumulative number of applications filed through the CBP One mobile app.

CBP Clarification

CBP, the federal agency charged with administering the CBP One app, has explained that many of the asylum applications were filed by the same individuals until they were selected and received a Notice to Appear (NTA) to appear at an authorized port of entry. In other words, a person may file multiple applications daily until they finally get an appointment to appear at the border.

A CBP spokesperson emphasized that “the cumulative number of applications does not represent unique individuals.” This means that a family of five, for example, who applied for an appointment daily for a month before getting one, is recorded as 150 total applications. It is important to note that these cumulative requests do not necessarily equate to 64 million distinct petitioners.

How the CBP One application works

In January of last year, the CBP One mobile application was activated by the Joe Biden administration at eight border ports. Its main purpose is to allow those foreign nationals who do not have a visa or humanitarian parole to enter the country to request an appointment for any current legal program, including asylum.

The application is accessed through mobile devices and has experienced a significant increase in demand since its launch. In the first stage of the program, the government processed only a few applications per day, but currently 1,450 appointments are granted daily at some authorized ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border.

How many unique requests are there in total?

Because many people file multiple applications over time, it is difficult to determine the exact number of unique requests. CBP has reiterated that it does not count the cumulative number of requests as unique individuals, as many requests are filed by the same person until an appointment is obtained.

However, CBP reported that since the launch of the CBP One application in January 2023 through the end of December 2023, approximately 413,300 individuals have successfully scheduled appointments to appear at ports of entry. The top nationalities that have been processed are Venezuelan, Mexican, and Haitian.

Results and benefits of the CBP One application

CBP has highlighted that the implementation of the CBP One application has improved border security by providing an orderly process for screening and vetting non-citizens at ports of entry. It has also eliminated the need to use smugglers by allowing non-citizens to request appointments directly.

Since its launch, more than 400,000 individuals have been presented in a safe and orderly manner at ports of entry thanks to the CBP One application. This has helped to discourage attempts to cross the border between ports of entry and has facilitated a more efficient and secure process for those seeking to legally enter the country.

Procedure for asylum seekers

When an asylum seeker receives a Notice to Appear (NTA) and presents himself or herself at one of the authorized border ports, CBP officers inspect and evaluate each individual to determine the appropriate processing disposition. It is important to note that CBP does not adjudicate asylum applications.

Those individuals who are issued an NTA and placed in removal proceedings have the opportunity to apply for asylum or other protection before an immigration judge. If they express fear of persecution or torture, they will be referred to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a credible fear interview.


CBP’s clarification of the exorbitant 64 million purported asylum seekers is critical to understanding the reality behind this figure. It is not 64 million unique individuals, but the cumulative number of applications filed through the CBP One application.

With the implementation of this tool, border security has improved and has allowed for a more orderly and efficient process for those seeking to legally enter the country.