Washington, Oct 27 (IANS) The number of families crossing illegally from Mexico into Texas and Arizona has continued to spike in October, according to federal officials in both the US states.
The increase is causing difficulty at every stage for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including at the border processing facilities, for Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention and at shelters for unaccompanied minors, as well as at Greyhound stations in South Texas, where many migrants are released and travel around the US, CNN quoted a senior DHS official as saying on Friday.
All the facilities from processing to detention were “breaking at the seams”, said the official.
This comes as President Donald Trump has railed against the caravan ahead of the mid-term elections, calling its participants “criminals” and threatening to cut off aid to Central American countries that don’t stop the progress north.
The administration has accused migrants of abusing the US asylum system and has faced increased political pressure from the President to stop the flow of illegal immigration.
Customs and Border Protection in Texas is planning for the potential arrival of the caravan by meeting with stakeholders, in case it comes that way, said the DHS official.
DHS is currently tracking two caravans, one massive one with thousands of migrants and another, smaller one that formed in El Salvador.
The most recent official border apprehension numbers released by Customs and Border Protection earlier this week were for September, which showed a record high month with 16,658 family apprehensions across the southern border.
At the end of fiscal year 2018, families and unaccompanied minors accounted for about 51 per cent of the apprehensions in the Rio Grande Valley, compared with about 64 percent so far in October, the DHS official said.