More than 100,000 migrants encountered at US southern border in March: Data

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Migrants wait outside of the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) to fix their papers to get humanitarian visas to cross the country on their way to the United States in Tapachula, Mexico, April 9, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

US officers arrested or denied entry to over 103,000 people along the border with Mexico in March, a 35 percent increase over the prior month and more than twice as many as the same period last year, according to data released by US Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday.

The steady increase in migrant arrivals, which has been building over the past several months, is driven by a growing number of children and families, especially from Central America.

Children and people traveling as families made up 67 percent of those arrested by US Border Patrol agents between official ports of entry in the month of March, officials said. In March 2018, the same category made up one third of arrests.

US President Donald Trump has grown increasingly frustrated with the rising number of Central American migrants attempting to cross the southern border, and his ire has been directed at his own officials, Congress, and Latin American countries, who he says have not done enough to stop their citizens from traveling to the United States.

On Sunday, Trump’s top homeland security official, Kirstjen Nielsen, said she was stepping down, and a senior administration official said other agency leaders had not done enough to crack down on the surge in immigration.

Immigration experts believe that more migrants are likely to attempt to cross in the coming months, as numbers typically peak around May.

(Source: Reuters)

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