Spike in il­le­gal border cross­ings from Mex­ico

Num­ber of mi­grants jumped more than 16%

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

WASH­ING­TON: The num­ber of mi­grants il­le­gally en­ter­ing the United States from Mex­ico jumped more than 16 per­cent in Oc­to­ber, US of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day. The US Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity said it de­tained 46,195 peo­ple in Oc­to­ber, up from 39,501 in Septem­ber and 37,048 in Au­gust. “There are cur­rently about 41,000 in­di­vid­u­als in our im­mi­gra­tion de­ten­tion fa­cil­i­ties-typ­i­cally, the num­ber in im­mi­gra­tion de­ten­tion fluc­tu­ates be­tween 31,000 and 34,000,” DHS Sec­re­tary Jeh John­son said in a state­ment.

“I have autho­rized US Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment to ac­quire ad­di­tional de­ten­tion space for sin­gle adults so that those ap­pre­hended at the border can be re­turned to their home coun­tries as soon as pos­si­ble,” he said. Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials have said that most of the un­doc­u­mented ar­rivals are ac­tu­ally Cen­tral Amer­i­cans mak­ing the ar­du­ous jour­ney through Mex­ico to seek work and safety in the United States-amid poverty and a surge in gang-re­lated vi­o­lence at home.

US of­fi­cials have “en­gaged with a num­ber of coun­tries to repa­tri­ate their ci­ti­zens more quickly, and they have agreed to do so,” John­son said, not­ing that many of the new ar­rivals have been asy­lum seek­ers and young chil­dren. “Our bor­ders can­not be open to il­le­gal mi­gra­tion. We must, there­fore, en­force the im­mi­gra­tion laws con­sis­tent with our pri­or­i­ties,” he added. “We pri­or­i­tize the de­por­ta­tion of un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants who are con­victed of se­ri­ous crimes and those ap­pre­hended at the border at­tempt­ing to en­ter the coun­try il­le­gally.”

The lat­est im­mi­gra­tion fig­ures come two days af­ter the Novem­ber 8 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion that closed a cam­paign in which im­mi­gra­tion has loomed large. The im­mi­gra­tion is­sue has been cen­tral in the can­di­dacy of Repub­li­can Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump, who has vowed to build a wall along the south­west­ern border and make Mex­ico pay for it. Trump met for an hour Thurs­day with the head of the US Se­nate Mitch McCon­nell, and again stressed his plans to high­light im­mi­gra­tion dur­ing his pres­i­dency which starts in Jan­uary. “We’re go­ing to look very strongly at im­mi­gra­tion,” the bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man said.

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