Over 400,000 illegal immigrants were caught in the southwest border of the United States in fiscal 2016, an almost 23 percent rise over the previous year, according to the recent Homeland Security numbers released Monday, The Washington Times reports.
The officials also noted that the surge in arrests, which increased from 331,000 from last year, pointed towards an unrecorded rise in the number that had already sneaked in.
There has been a heavy inflow — a record high of 77,674 — in the number of illegal immigrants traveling as families or those escaping difficult situations conditions in Central America. The number of unaccompanied minors too rose to nearly 60,000, the officials said.
"Unaccompanied children and families have presented new challenges in our immigration system," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.
Hinting at Donald Trump's push for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep a check on illegal immigration, the statement said, "Walls alone cannot prevent illegal migration. Ultimately, the solution is long-term investment in Central America to address the underlying push factors in the region."
The year 2015 showed a remarkable progress as the count of unaccompanied minors, families and overall illegal immigration dropped drastically. It matches with figures which were prevalent in 1970s, the report said.
However, things went back to square one over the last year, and the reasons are still unexplainable.
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