TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Despite mobilizing National Guard troops, and a new "zero tolerance" prosecution policy, the Border Patrol says the number of illegal border crossings is on the rise.
The agency released its numbers on immigrants caught in May, on Wednesday, June 6.
This is a blow for the Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security. The President says strengthening efforts to stop illegal immigration at the southern border is a top priority.
DHS took nearly 52,000 migrants into custody in May. That's more than three times the number arrested just a year earlier. It's also the third month in a row where this number has topped 50,000.
The Border Patrol's Tucson sector plays a big role in that increase. This sector covers the area along the border from New Mexico to the western end of Pima County.
Here are May's numbers:
- more than 3,500 children were caught trying to cross into the United States. That's a 42 percent increase over May of last year and an even bigger increase in the number of families arrested at the border.
- 2,800 families were caught. Up 86 percent from the same month last year.