New statistics, released on Wednesday (September 12, 2018), show that the number of members of immigrant families arrested by immigration officials for illegally entering the US increased by as much as 38%. Officials with the Department of Homeland Security have labeled the rise a ‘crisis.’
According to the latest data, almost 13,000 immigrant family members were arrested by Border Patrol agents in August, the highest figure ever recorded for that month. The increase comes in the wake of President Donald Trump rescinding the controversial zero-tolerance policy that attempted to deter undocumented immigrants from crossing into the US by separating immigrant minors from their parents. Immigration numbers usually rebound following a lull in the summer months, but August saw an increase to 46,560 from the July figure of 40,011.
Officials with the Department of Homeland Security claim that the number of families arriving last month was because court-ordered restrictions limit the amount of time immigrant that minors can be kept in immigration jails. It has resulted in parents bringing along their children because they know it will allow them to be released from government custody quicker, and most likely to avoid deportation.
Kevin McAleenan, the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, says the trend is a “crisis of significant proportions” both from a security and humanitarian perspective. Almost all the immigrant families come from the Central American nations of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, countries beset by grinding poverty and high homicide rates.