- The number of people apprehended crossing the US-Mexico border in April has topped 100,000 for the second month in a row, the highest point since 2007.
- US Customs and Border Protection officials released data on Wednesday showing that 109,144 people at the border were taken into custody last month.
- Experts have said the answer isn’t deterrence policies, but increased aid to Central American countries.
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Just two years after the number of people apprehended crossing the border hit historic lows, it has hit a 12-year high for the second month in a row, enraging President Donald Trump and overwhelming the government agency responsible for arresting migrants.
Customs and Border Protection released new data on Wednesday, showing that 109,144 migrants were arrested or deemed inadmissible in April 2019, up 6% from 103,719 in March.
More than 58,000 of the migrants in April came as family units, nearly 9,000 were unaccompanied children, and more than 31,000 were single adults.
The last time monthly apprehensions were that high was in 2007.
Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost told lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the numbers were “off the charts” and that she feared her agency would “lose control of the border.”
“We cannot address this crisis by shifting more resources,” she said. “It’s like holding a bucket under a faucet. It doesn’t matter how many buckets we have if we can’t turn off the flow.”
The numbers show how a new trend has been picking up in recent years, which has posed new humanitarian and logistical challenges for the Border Patrol agents arresting the migrants.
Rather than the single, Mexican men looking for work who made up most of the border apprehensions in the past, these new migrants are families from Central America, often with young children.
The migrants are fleeing their home countries due to poverty and violence, and often have been told by smugglers that they will fare better in the US immigration system if they bring their children with them.
Immigration advocates and experts have urged Trump not to focus on policies that attempt to deter migrants from coming – rather, they have argued that long-term strategies like sending Northern Triangle countries financial aid would be more effective.
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