Over 15,000 undocumented immigrants, traveling as family groups, were apprehended at the border between the US and Mexico, in November. This was an enormous increase, which has broken records for the month, according to statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security, on Thursday.
The number of undocumented minors coming through the border has also risen, reaching more than 7000 in November. But, the resolve of the Obama administration and Border Patrol’s resources are most strained by the surge of families. The challenge of illegal immigration has been reshaped by the rise in families and unaccompanied minors fleeing Central America and heading for the US. This has resulted in illegal immigration levels growing to a high not seen for many years.
The number of undocumented immigrants apprehended in November is as much as 44 percent higher than the number caught in the same month in 2015. They rank as the worst November figure for many years. Officials blame conditions in Central America for the increase, saying that the violence and poverty in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras leave many feeling they have no choice but to try to get to the US.
But, the head of the US Border Patrol has told Congress that the immigrants have learned to play the system with the help of the people smugglers they employ, because of the nature of the current US immigration policy.