Trump administration detains highest number of immigrants in over 10 years

President claims harsh immigration policies would deter migrants from attempting to enter 

Clark Mindock
New York
Monday 07 October 2019 20:13 BST
(AFP/Getty Images)

New federal data shows that the number of migrants arrested on the US-Mexico border in 2019 spiked to its highest levels in over 10 years.

Figures show that around 851,000 people were apprehended and taken into US custody between 1 October 2018 and the end of September, marking the highest rate of arrests since 2007, during the administration of president George W Bush.

The new figures, first obtained by the Washington Examiner, come as Donald Trump has imposed strict immigration policies, including strict cuts to the US refugee programme, and amped up levels of workplace raids for undocumented immigrants living in the country already.

In defending those positions, Mr Trump has frequently claimed that immigrants commit crimes while in the US, and make the country less safe. His administration has also claimed that harsh policies towards immigrants would serve to deter others from trying to enter the United States.

According to the latest data, more than 450,000 of the people arriving at the US-Mexico border arrived with a family member. That’s up from just 80,000 in 2015.

The new figures do not indicate how many migrants were able to claim asylum once they arrived in the US.

Past data shows that the new arrest numbers represent a spike from what had been seen during the administration of Barack Obama and even the first couple of years of the Trump presidency.

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But, with the Trump administration’s 2018 “zero tolerance” policy, the rate of arrest spiked. Those policies led to the separation of parents from children arriving at the border, resulting in so-called child migrant camps across the country.

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