Record Number Of Illegal Border Crossings In February

Customs and Border Protection says apprehensions and unauthorized arrivals were at a 12-year high for the month of February.
Posted at 2:49 PM, Mar 06, 2019

The U.S. saw a record number of illegal crossings over the U.S.-Mexico border last month. 

Customs and Border Protection says it had 76,000 "apprehensions and inadmissible arrivals" in February.

CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan says that's the highest number in the month of February in the last 12 years. That's also the same month President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to build a border wall.

The number of migrant families crossing the border together is already higher for the last five months than it was for the previous 12-month period. Many migrants arrive with health issues or illnesses, and CBP has had to increase medical care efforts during migrant apprehensions. In February, a 45-year-old man from Mexico died in CBP custody. And in December, an 8-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala who came into the U.S. with their families died.

McAleenan warns the situation CBP is currently dealing with is not sustainable.

"The system is well beyond capacity and remains at the breaking point," he said.

His statement was echoed by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Wednesday during her testimony to the House Homeland Security Committee.

"We face a crisis — a real, serious and sustained crisis at our borders. We have tens of thousands of illegal aliens arriving at our doorstep every month," she said.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.