Illegal immigration already up on 2015

Illegal immigration in the 2016 fiscal year has already surpassed that of 2015, with two months remaining. It is fuelled by a renewed increase in the number of undocumented immigrant families and minors from Central America trying to cross the border into the US.

Almost 34,000 people were apprehended at the south-west border last month. This is an increase of 5000 compared to July 2015. It brings the total for the first ten months of the 2016 fiscal year to over 332,000, which is higher than in 2015 as a whole. These statistics were released by Border Patrol last week. The surge is the result of a new influx of immigrant minors and families from Central America, trying to get into the US to escape violence in their homeland and take advantage of the Obama’s administration proffered hope of amnesty.

Over 7500 immigrant families were caught at the US border, with a further 5068 unaccompanied immigrant minors also apprehended. The figures are disturbing because they show an increase at the peak of summer, a time when, according to officials, the flow is usually lower because of the hot weather, yet the number of minors and families both rose in July.

Last month, the Obama administration announced a new series of programs. These intend to allow immigrant minors and their extended families to apply to gain passage from their home countries to the US to try to force them into choosing safer routes than the often hazardous trek through Mexico.