What Do Terms Mean?

Statistics presented here relate to events, not people. It is not unusual for business people, tourists, and others to leave and return to the U.S. several times in a single year. Such people will be counted multiple times in the government numbers that year -- once each time they enter. This is because these statistics reflect counts of the number of entries or entry attempts at official land, air, and sea ports of entry.

"Let In" versus "Kept Out." This report focuses on the critical decisions of immigration inspectors. Do they let you enter the county -- that is walk or drive across the land border, or walk out the airport door into the U.S. upon arrival in this country?

From the perspective of the inspector's decision, everyone that is not "let in" is "kept out." And this is the perspective taken in this report. However, it is good to keep in mind that the inspector doesn't always have the final say. Sometimes a person is "kept out" by the immigration inspector pending a decision by others -- for example, an immigration judge or an asylum officer. Also, while a person "kept out" is awaiting a final decision, or awaiting "expedited removal" by another DHS office, they may be released or paroled into the U.S. for a variety of reasons including a lack of detention space by someone other than the immigration inspector.