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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 TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress 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 SessionsManchin flexes muscle in 50-50 Senate Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' Ocasio-Cortez targets Manchin over Haaland confirmation 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."