Illegal border crossings surged in February
by Kent Covington
Posted 3/06/19, 10:50 am
Agents at the U.S. southern border last month arrested a record 76,000 migrants who either crossed illegally into the United States or attempted to enter at a port of entry without permission—more than double the number from the same period last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday. The government plans to construct a new processing center in El Paso, Texas, to accommodate the increasing numbers.
“While we will continue to do all that we can to address these increases in traffic safely and humanely, the fact is that these solutions are temporary, and this situation is not sustainable,” McAleenan said. Agents apprehend about 400,000 people crossing the border every year, down from a high of 1.6 million in 2000. Most of today’s migrants are families seeking asylum who typically don’t try to evade U.S. officials but turn themselves in as soon as they cross the border.
The updated migrant numbers reflect the difficulties of cutting down on illegal immigration, President Donald Trump’s signature campaign issue. But they could also provide more evidence of a national emergency at the border. The Senate is expected to vote next week and join the House in rejecting the president’s national emergency declaration aimed at building a border wall, but Trump is almost certain to veto the measure.
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