The number of migrants apprehended illegally entering the United States via the Southwest border continued to rise in November, according to data released Thursday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Last month, Border Patrol apprehended a daily average of nearly 1,574 border crossers — or a total of 47,214 — attempting to enter the country illegally. Since July, the number of attempted illegal border crossings has been on the rise, on top of already elevated numbers. November’s totals were the highest seen at the U.S.-Mexico border since June 2014, when 57,862 migrants were apprehended illegally crossing into the U.S.
Included in the data was a record high 15,573 “family units” (or adults traveling with children) intercepted at the border — 2,455 more than the month prior. November’s family unit levels were also 140.7 percent higher than November of last year, and 544.8 percent higher than November of 2014. Indeed, the total number of family units apprehended during the first two months of this fiscal year 28,691 family units has dwarfed both Fiscal Year 2013 when just 14,855 family units were apprehended over that entire year.
The number of unaccompanied minors (UACs) CBP apprehended at the border last month also saw an increase of 684, reaching 7,406 UACs, the highest level since June 2014, when 10,620 UACs were apprehended at the border.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to see increases in migration along the Southwest Border during fiscal year 2017,” CBP said in a statement. “This includes family units and unaccompanied children from Central America, Haitian nationals migrating from Brazil, and Cuban nationals.”
The agency added it is continuing “to maintain a strong security posture through background checks of all individuals encountered and ensures that each person is processed in accordance with U.S. immigration laws and DHS policy.”
The Department of Homeland Security has also responded to the recent surge but opening additional detention space and processing facilities to deal with the substantial influx.
“The facilities are providing additional space for those in CBP custody awaiting transfer to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for processing, detention, and/or removal, or to the Department of Health and Human Services,” CBP added, noting it “is prepared to add housing, beds, toilets, and bathing facilities as necessary.”