Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified to members of Congress on Wednesday that the United States was on pace to apprehend 900,000 illegal immigrants at the southern border over the course of the year.
This figure is remarkably higher than the 310,000 illegal immigrants who were arrested at the border in 2017, the Washington Examiner reads.
Another 216,000 were turned away at ports for lacking legal documents to enter.
From October through January, approximately 60,000 people each month were either arrested after illegally crossing or after trying to cross at a border crossing point without legal permission.
President Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border last month where he said a security and humanitarian crisis was overwhelming border patrol forces.
Democrats brush the severity of Trump’s claims and even chose not to allocate him $5.7 billion for the construction of a border wall. Democrats often say there is no emergency and no immigration problem occurring at the southern border.
Nielsen, however, confirmed Trump’s comments and said the U.S. is seeing record-breaking levels of immigration.
“Our nation is facing a dire humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” Nielsen testified before the House Homeland Security Committee. “The agency is now on track to apprehend more migrants crossing illegally in the first six months of this fiscal year than the entirety of FY17.”
“The total number we’re on track for — 900,000 apprehensions this year,” the homeland security secretary continued.
— GOP (@GOP) March 7, 2019
According to Nielsen’s testimony, more than 76,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended at the border in the month of February alone.
This figure is the largest the United States has seen in 12 years.
In 2018, a total 683,000 undocumented immigrants tried to illegally enter the U.S. at ports or between border crossings.
CBP said Tuesday they expect the numbers to continue spiking this spring. During President Trump’s first few months in office, monthly apprehensions dipped to 17,000 people.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.