US-Mexico Border Crossings Down As Trump Declares Crisis

The U.S.-Mexico border has seen a rise in the number of families and unaccompanied children trying to claim asylum in the U.S.
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jan 09, 2019

President Trump says immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border has reached a crisis point. But here are some important statistics to keep in mind.

The government's numbers show border crossings are actually much lower than they've been in years past. Border agents apprehended more than 396,000 people on the southwest border in fiscal year 2018. That's up from last year, but it's on the lower end of what that area has seen over the past 20 years.

The border, however, has seen a marked rise in the number of families and unaccompanied children trying to cross: Nearly 40 percentof immigrants caught by Border Patrol last year fell into those two categories.

And almost all of those family members caught last year came from three countries: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Gang violence and economic woes have pressured many of those people to try and enter the U.S. and seek asylum.

Those asylum-seekers usually enter the U.S. at official crossings or turn themselves in to border agents. The White House is asking Congress for an additional $800 million to help detain and process this influx of immigrants.

The White House insists a border wall is a crucial security feature that prevents terrorists from entering the U.S. The U.S. stopped 3,775 known or suspected terrorists from entering the country in fiscal year 2017. Only six of those actions involved a non-citizen stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Both parties agree that the U.S.-Mexico border needs to be secured but disagree over how to do it. That disagreement is fueling the ongoing government shutdown, which has furloughed about 800,000 federal workers.

This video includes reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.