The number of illegal border crossers arrested at the southern border soared to nearly 133,000 in May of this year, according to Customs and Border Patrol. 593,507 apprehensions have occurred at the southern border since the beginning of 2019. Border arrests are the closest proxy available for total illegal crossings, a number which is higher than reported apprehensions.
President Trump and his administration have stated that this recent surge of illegal aliens has overwhelmed federal authorities and created a humanitarian and security crisis. The number of border arrests continues to rise. May’s apprehensions mark a 34 percent increase over the roughly 99,000 arrests last month and a further increase from the approximate 92,000 arrests made in March.
A large portion of this month’s arrests is attributed to a sharp rise in family units and unaccompanied minors caught at the southern border. Nearly 85,000 family units were arrested illegally crossing the border in May. By comparison, 107,000 family units were arrested in all of fiscal year 2018. As for unaccompanied minors, apprehensions totaled 11,507 in May, up from 8,900 a month earlier.
The Trump Administration cautioned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which takes custody of the unaccompanied minors, could soon be overwhelmed by incoming traffic. The HHS Refugee Resettlement Office reported that it currently maintains 13,200 unaccompanied minors in its custody, up from 12,700 on May 1. The number of minors in custody of HHS is rapidly approaching historic highs reached last year. Due to the massive influx of unaccompanied minors and lack of funding from Congress, an HHS spokesperson stated that the agency might be forced to scale back services that are not directly related to alien minors safety, including legal services, education, and recreation, as reported in Politico.
Updated: Wed, Jun 5th 2019 @ 6:22pm EDT