Illegal immigration returns to Obama-era levels along Southwest border

Illegal immigration returns to Obama-era levels along Southwest border
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The number of illegal immigrants detained along the Southwest U.S. border has increased by double digits since October, according to newly released data.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data shows 39,006 people were detained while attempting to cross the border in November, an increase of 12 percent from the previous month and more than double the number of arrests in March and April.

The data also show the number of unaccompanied minors and families apprehended while crossing the border increased by double digits in November — by 26 percent and 45 percent, respectively — according to CBP.

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The number of arrests in November is the highest number since late 2016, under former President Obama, and the most apprehensions since President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE took office.

Trump routinely boasts about illegal immigration levels falling during his presidency.

Immigrations arrests spiked in the first few months of Trump’s term, as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials arrested 21,362 immigrating from January to mid-March, a 32.6 percent increase from the same time last year.

Last month, The Associated Press reported that deportation arrests have surged in the last fiscal year.

The Trump administration’s immigration crackdown has been a focal point for Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field Sessions vows to 'work for' Trump endorsement Sanford: 'It carries real weight' to speak against Trump 'while in office' MORE, and Trump continues to push for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Under President Trump, illegal immigration has declined dramatically over the last year. The administration is working tirelessly to secure the border, enhance interior enforcement and establish a merit-based immigration system," Department of Homeland Security press secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement to The Hill. "But we need Congress to act immediately to close immigration loopholes, fund the border wall, terminate outdated visa programs and provide the necessary tools for DHS officials to carry out their mission."