Central American Migrants Keep Heading Toward USA, Even as Trump Focuses on Stopping Caravans

Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, January 9, 2019

President Donald Trump’s efforts to halt migrant caravans and limit asylum have not deterred Central American minors and members of their families from rushing toward the USA, according to data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wednesday.

Border Patrol agents apprehended 27,518 members of family units in December, the highest monthly total on record. That figure has steadily climbed for five months, even as Trump made stopping migrant caravans the centerpiece of his midterm election strategy and drove Washington into a partial government shutdown over funding for his border wall.

Those caravan members, most of whom tried to exercise their legal right to request asylum in the USA, contributed to a third straight month of more than 60,000 migrants being detained at U.S. ports of entry and arrested in the vast stretches of border in between.

The Trump administration points to those numbers as proof that the situation along the southern border is at “crisis” levels that require the expansion of the border wall. {snip}

The administration has also used the growing number of migrants to try to end asylum for victims of domestic abuse and gang violence and to prevent migrants who enter the country illegally from applying for asylum. Both of those moves were blocked by federal courts.

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