Illegal immigrant families shattered the old records and snuck into the country at record rates in October, according to new numbers released Friday.
A staggering 23,121 parents and children traveling as families were caught jumping the border last month. That’s nearly 40 percent higher than any month on record.
It’s also nearly 400 percent more than the number recorded just a year ago.
The numbers underscore the challenge the Trump administration is facing as it tries to tamp down on what appears to be a run for the border by Central Americans, particularly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Pushed by grim conditions back home and enticed into the U.S. by lax policies, children and families from those countries have come to dominate the border immigration problem.
When families, unaccompanied children and single adults are included, the Border Patrol caught nearly 51,000 illegal immigrants in November — the highest since the worst days of the 2014 Obama illegal immigration surge.
Customs and Border Protection says another 9,770 unauthorized migrants showed up demanding entry at the official border crossings.
Combined, that amounts to about 2,000 illegal immigrants a day.
Officials believe that the number of illegal immigrants caught by the Border Patrol is a good yardstick for the overall flow. More people caught means more people getting through, so a rise in apprehensions means a rise in overall rates of illegal immigration.
The Trump administration took action this week to try to close “loopholes” in U.S. policy. President Trump signed a proclamation that triggers new rules prohibiting illegal immigrants from claiming asylum if they jump the border.
Immigrant-rights groups have already announced a lawsuit to try to stop those rules.
The proclamation was a sign of Mr. Trump’s frustration with the problem.
He said Democrats have obstructed him, yet have offered no answers to the massive numbers of people attempting to cross.