The situation at the U.S.-Mexico border has reached a “breaking point” as immigrants coming into the U.S. illegally hit a 12-year high in February.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the number of immigrants trying to cross at the U.S.-Mexico border illegally reached a high since 2007, with 76,103 total apprehensions.
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen slammed the politics and policies surrounding open borders as the reason the American people are being “failed.”
“Our broken system endures, and the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis at our Southwest Border leaves many minors and families at extreme risk of being exploited by traffickers, human smugglers, gangs, and other nefarious actors seeking to profit at their expense. Activist courts, congressional inaction, and criminals intent on breaking our laws stand in the way of confronting illegal and uncontrolled migration threatening our safety and security.”
“What was a crisis, is now a full-fledged emergency,” Nielsen said, adding, “This cannot be a partisan issue.”
Nielsen suggested the law enforcement at the border is demanding the continued construction of a wall along the southern border, for laws to be strengthened, and for the proper tools and resources.
The rise of apprehensions at the southern border more than doubled in February from the following year, jumping from 36,751 apprehensions in February 2018 to 76,103 in February 2019.
Immigration at the southern border also saw a spike in the number of groups trying to cross illegally into the U.S. with 70 large groups of 100 or more individuals attempting to cross in the fiscal year 2019, compared to 13 large groups the previous year, according to the DHS.
Check out the statistics provided by the DHS below:
- In the fiscal year 2018, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made more than 1,500 human trafficking arrests – 97 percent of them for sex-trafficking.
- Last year, ICE officers removed more than 10,000 known or suspected gang members already in our country illegally.
- In the last two years alone, ICE officers have arrested 266,000 aliens with criminal records including those convicted of nearly 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 homicides.
- 20,000 children were illegally smuggled into the U.S. during December 2018, alone.
The 12-year high comes at a time that President Donald Trump is pushing for a national emergency declaration on the southern border in hopes of receiving more funding to construct physical barriers, but he’s being hit with criticism from leaders in both the Democrat and Republican Party as many seek to block his emergency declaration.