Politics

Report: U.S. Sees Spike In Illegal Border Crossings In August

| by Robert Fowler
U.S.-Mexico borderU.S.-Mexico border

U.S. Border Patrol disclosed on Sept. 20 that August saw increased traffic in undocumented families and children attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. The report shows an 8 percent increase in crossing attempts, leaving government officials concerned of another surge in undocumented immigrants.

“In August, U.S. customs and Border Protection experienced an increase from the month of July in the number of unaccompanied children and family units apprehended," Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told ABC News.

NPR reports the number of children apprehended while trying to cross the border at 4,506 in August. The CBP says that many are being encouraged to brave the sweltering temperatures and dangerous journey amid mounting violence in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

According to ABC, the areas with the biggest swell in attempted border crossings are El Paso, the Big Bend national park, San Diego and Yuma. 

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Despite the surge, the numbers are still significantly lower than in 2014, when there was a massive swell of undocumented children attempting to cross the border. There were reportedly more than 10,000 apprehensions a month that year.

The CBP notes that this uptick in border crossings pales in comparison to 2014’s crisis, and that “total apprehensions across our entire Southwest border remain at near-historic lows.”

Some of those trying to make it across the U.S. border may be continuously influenced by news coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis, according to CNN.

On Sept. 20, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. would accept an increase from 70,000 to 100,000 of refugees from Syria by 2017. Kerry described the move as “in keeping with the best tradition of America as a land of second chances and a beacon of hope.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says that the administration is concerned about the uptick in immigrants at the border.

“We’re going to continue to be engaged in both trying to stem that flow, but also messaging very clearly to people in Central America who may be thinking about trying to help their child to get into the United States, to urge them not to subject their child to that journey,” he said.

Sources: ABCCNN, NPR, The New York Times

Photo Credit: NathanGibbs / Flickr, WikiCommons