Border surge “the new normal”, say officials

The dramatic recent increase in the number of immigrant families and unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the border between Mexico and the United States could be “the new normal”, according to officials. Many believing that the sudden rise could be connected to a federal ruling that put an end to long-term detentions.

The amount of immigrant families and undocumented minors apprehended at the south-western border of the United States reached a peak in 2014, only to fall after the Federal Emergency Management Agency was tapped by President Obama to come up with ways to deal with the crisis. In recent months the number of apprehensions has once again increased, however, with over 10,000 undocumented immigrant minors caught in the last couple of months alone, US Customs and Border Protection claims.

These 10,588 apprehensions represent an increase of 106% when compared with the same period – October 1st through to the November 30th – in 2014, when just 5,129 undocumented minors were caught. There has been a similar increase in the apprehension of families, with 12,505 detentions across these two months, an increase of 173% compared with the previous year’s 4,577.
“We could very well be seeing the new normal,” claims the US Customs and Border Protection commissioner, Gil Kerlikowske. New federal rules that require unaccompanied immigrant minors to be released in just five days are being blamed for the increase by many Border Patrol agents and officials.