Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Arrests for illegal border crossings top 50,000 in May

By: COLLEEN LONG , Associated Press
June 6, 2018 Updated: June 6, 2018 at 5:25 pm
0
Caption +
FILE - In this June 22, 2016 file photo, Border Patrol agent Eduardo Olmos walks near the secondary fence separating Tijuana, Mexico, background, and San Diego in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

NEW YORK — U.S. Border Patrol agents made 51,912 arrests in May for illegal crossings, the third month in a row the number has topped 50,000 amid a new "zero tolerance" policy and agents separating families caught crossing illegally.

The Trump administration — like previous administrations — uses the arrest numbers as the best gauge of whether illegal crossings are going up or down, though there is no precise measure of illegal crossings because some people aren't caught.

The border arrest figures are made up of people who are stopped at land crossings and other official points of entry, according to federal data. The May tally was more than triple the number from April 2017, which was the lowest on record since the Homeland Security Department was created in 2003.

Curbing illegal immigration is an administration priority; Trump cited the issue as an achievement in a tweet earlier this week on his 500th day in office. But behind closed doors last month, he criticized the Homeland Security secretary at a Cabinet meeting for failing to stop rising numbers.

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, Tyler Houlton, said in a statement Wednesday that reversing years of political inaction takes time.

"These numbers show that while the Trump administration is restoring the rule of law, it will take a sustained effort and continuous commitment of resources over many months to disrupt cartels, smugglers, and nefarious actors," he said.

The debate over immigration reached a fever pitch in recent months following reports that since October hundreds of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border have been separated from their parents.

The number of separated minors was expected to jump after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would enforce criminal charges against people crossing the border illegally with few or no previous offenses. Under U.S. protocol, if parents are jailed, their children would be separated from them.

The U.N. human rights office on Tuesday called on the Trump administration to halt the policy, insisting there is "nothing normal about detaining children."

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 

Exclusive Subscriber Content

You read The Gazette because you care about your community and the local stories you can't find anywhere else.

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber? Get Access | Already a digital subscriber? Log In
 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.