Wednesday, 13 February 2019

After holiday lull, Central American family migration returns to record levels

U.S. border officials said Friday they saw an abrupt drop-off in illegal crossings during the holiday season, but the number of Central Americans arriving in family groups has returned to record levels since then.

The lull in unauthorized crossings suggests some Central American migrants - and the smuggling organizations that deliver them to the border - may have taken a break or deferred the journey north until after the holidays.

A CBP official told reporters Friday that about 75 percent of the family members detained in January arrived during the second half of the month. Family groups accounted for 59 percent of all border apprehensions, and although the total number of parents and children taken into custody - 24,116 - declined slightly from December, "that still represents one of the highest totals we have on record," one official said.

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