This may make you wish Donald Trump already had his wall up!
Child migration is surging again.
The number of families and unaccompanied children apprehended on the southern border has skyrocketed this year, according to new figures from the Obama administration.
The numbers, compiled by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), reveal that child migration is on par with 2014 levels, when a wave of kids — thousands of them unaccompanied — arrived at the southern border.
The surge of illegal immigration quickly swamped border authorities, immigration courts and health and humanitarian workers, while sparking a political battle on Capitol Hill over the cause and proper response to the crisis.
The new figures raise the specter of another increase this summer. That would almost certainly inflame another political showdown in a volatile presidential year in which the issues of race, immigration and border security have been pronounced — particularly due to the hard-line enforcement approach adopted by the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
Through the first six months of fiscal 2016, which ended on March 31, border officials apprehended 27,754 unaccompanied children, the CBP reported — a 78 percent jump from the 15,616 apprehended in 2015, and just shy of the 28,579 apprehended in 2014.
For family units, which consist of at least one child traveling with at least one adult, the increase was even more dramatic. In the first six months of 2016, 32,117 families were apprehended, the CBP reported — an increase of 131 percent from the 2015 figure (13,913) and 62 percent from the 2014 figure (19,830).
Kevin Appleby, director of international migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies, proposed several reasons for the increase. For one, the violence plaguing Central America — particularly El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — still exists, he noted, sending people fleeing north for their lives.
“The forces driving the migration are still strong,” he said.