Illegal immigration across the southwest border appears to have jumped 27 percent in May, according to numbers released this week by Homeland Security, breaking a three-month streak of declines under President Trump and suggesting the slump in migrants has bottomed out.
The Border Patrol nabbed 14,535 illegal immigrants in the southwest last month, up from just 11,129 in April. Analysts said that the number of people caught is a rough measure of the overall flow of people trying to sneak in.
The number of illegal immigrants showing up at ports of entry without authorization also ticked up, from 4,649 to 5,432.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol and the ports of entry, acknowledged the spike in crossings, but attributed it to “a seasonal uptick.”
CBP said it “expects the uptick to continue” through the summer months.
The numbers suggest that while Mr. Trump appears to have changed the calculations of many border crossers, there’s still a segment of the population — particularly among Central Americans — determined to make the journey.
Agents usually record an uptick from April to May, but the jump this year is the largest on record.
Still, it’s by far the lowest May total on record. For example, May 2016 saw more than 40,000 illegal immigrants caught at the border.
Illegal immigration from Cuba and Haiti had been a problem last year, but had dipped under the final months of President Obama and again under Mr. Trump.
Now, Cubans appear to be surging again, while Haitians remain low.
Two other special categories of migrants — unaccompanied minors and families traveling together — also saw spikes last month, rising from a combined 2,117 nabbed by the Border Patrol in April to 3,070 in May.