51,856 apprehended on Mexican border in November, most of Trump's presidency

by Anna Giaritelli
| December 06, 2018 06:41 PM

More than 51,000 people were caught illegally entering the United States from Mexico in November, according to Department of Homeland Security data released Thursday evening, the highest number recorded since President Trump took office almost two years ago.

“The November 2018 border numbers are the predictable result of a broken immigration system — including flawed judicial rulings — that usurps the will of the American people who have repeatedly demanded secure borders," DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman said in a statement.

Half of those who illegally entered — 25,172 — were families. That figure is nearly four times more than the 7,000 families apprehended just one year earlier.

An additional 10,600 people who cited a credible fear of returning to their home countries were deemed unfit for applying for asylum and were turned away at official border crossings.

A grand total of 62,456 people were encountered in November, according to Customs and Border Protection.

The last time the total figure was as high was in the month before and the month of the 2016 presidential election.

Illegal immigration initially took a dramatic downturnat the beginning of Trump's presidency. Fewer than 16,000 people were apprehended sneaking into the country in the spring of 2017.

Those numbers began creeping back up in the second half of 2017 and have risen a few thousand every month since then.

Waldman said the government had expected the numbers to be higher in November than October. Nearly 2,000 more people were caught illegally entering and turned away at ports in November than in the prior month.

In November, the White House announced a policy that would block asylum seekers from applying unless they present themselves at one of the southern border's ports.

While children and families who unlawfully cross the border are not arrested and are allowed to apply for asylum, the new policy would essentially turn them around and force them to go to an official border crossing to apply for protected status.

The change would give the administration a new way to deter illegal immigration as around 10,000 migrants who traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America in caravans consider how to gain entry.

However, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar issued a restraining order on the policy's implementation following a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Unfortunately, individual district court judges in separate immigration rulings have given another free pass to illegal aliens to violate our laws. This has consequences," Waldman said. "Bad decisions from the 9th Circuit are directly responsible for the more than 25,000 family units who violated our national sovereignty and are effectively immune to consequences for their illegal actions."