Novem­ber border ar­rests jump to high­est in Trump pres­i­dency

Yuma Sun - - NEWS -

SAN DIEGO — U.S. Border Patrol ar­rests on the Mex­i­can border jumped 78 per­cent in Novem­ber from a year ear­lier to the high­est level in Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­dency, with fam­i­lies and chil­dren ac­count­ing for a ma­jor­ity for a third straight month.

The num­bers are the lat­est sign that peo­ple who cross the border il­le­gally are in­creas­ingly fam­i­lies and chil­dren trav­el­ing alone, a trend that be­gan sev­eral years ago but has ac­cel­er­ated since sum­mer.

The Border Patrol made 25,172 ar­rests of peo­ple who came as fam­i­lies in Novem­ber, nearly four times the same pe­riod last year, par­ent agency Cus­toms and Border Pro­tec­tion said. There were 5,283 ar­rests of un­ac­com­pa­nied chil­dren, up 33 per­cent from a year ear­lier. Over­all, the Border Patrol made 51,856 ar­rests on the Mex­i­can border last month, up from 51,001, or 1 per­cent, in Oc­to­ber and up from 29,085 in the same pe­riod of 2017. It was the fourth straight month-to-month in­crease.

Many fam­i­lies and chil­dren, pre­dom­i­nantly from Gu­atemala, El Sal­vador and Hon­duras, turn them­selves in to agents and seek asy­lum or some other form of pro­tec­tion, a dra­matic change from sev­eral years ago when peo­ple who crossed il­le­gally were largely Mex­i­can men who tried to elude cap­ture. Cen­tral Amer­i­can asy­lum seek­ers have low ap­proval rates. But many stay in the U.S. while their cases wind through back­logged im­mi­gra­tion courts, which can take sev­eral years.

Katie Wald­man, a Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity spokes­woman, said the Novem­ber ar­rests “are the pre­dictable re­sult of a bro­ken im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem — in­clud­ing flawed ju­di­cial rul­ings — that usurps the will of the Amer­i­can peo­ple who have re­peat­edly de­manded se­cure bor­ders.” She sin­gled out a Nov. 19 rul­ing by a fed­eral judge in San Fran­cisco to halt a new pol­icy to deny asy­lum to peo­ple who en­ter the coun­try il­le­gally. The rul­ing in­fu­ri­ated Trump, who made il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion a top pri­or­ity dur­ing his 2016 cam­paign and in the White House.

“Our coun­try can­not af­ford unchecked, un­demo­cratic mass mi­gra­tion poli­cies writ­ten by ac­tivist judges,” Wald­man said. “We will con­tinue to push Congress to step up and ad­dress these le­gal fail­ures.”

The Border Patrol op­er­ates be­tween ports of en­try. When adding 10,600 who were stopped at of­fi­cial cross­ings in Novem­ber, there were 62,456 de­tained for en­ter­ing the coun­try with­out au­tho­riza­tion. That’s the high­est level since June 2014, dur­ing the mid­dle of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s sec­ond term and at the peak of an ear­lier in­flux of Cen­tral Amer­i­cans fam­i­lies and chil­dren.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

IN THIS OCT. 29 FILE PHOTO, A GROUP OF CEN­TRAL AMER­I­CAN MI­GRANTS bound for the U.S. border wade to­gether across the Suchi­ate River, which con­nects Gu­atemala and Mex­ico, in Te­cun Uman, Gu­atemala.

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