Illegal US border crossings swell to 76,000 in February

The number of undocumented immigrants stopped at the US border with Mexico soared to more than 76,000 in February, the highest monthly level in years, US Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday.

The number of families and unaccompanied children also rose to nearly two-thirds of the total, often crossing in large groups and turning themselves in to authorities to request asylum, blunting the Trump administration’s tactics aimed at curbing the flow.

At 76,103, the number of people stopped at the border or detained after crossing was up sharply from the roughly 61,000 average for the previous three months, a surprising surge for what is usually a downturn in the coldest month of the year.

It was also more than double the number of February 2018 and 3.2 times the number for February 2017, the first full month after President Donald Trump took office promising to take aim at illegal immigration.


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