WASHINGTON – There was a slight increase in the number of families captured after crossing the southern border in November, according to numbers released Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security.
The numbers show even more families were apprehended while illegally crossing the border during a time when President Donald Trump continuously vowed in front of large numbers of supporters to stop them, even sending thousands of soldiers to the southern border. Trump held dozens of rallies ahead of November's midterm elections, calling attention whenever he could to the migrant caravan heading to the U.S. who aimed to claim asylum.
During November, 25,172 families were apprehended, an 8 percent increase from the 23,115 families that were caught illegally crossing in October. There were also slight increases in the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border, from 4,982 in October to 5,283 in November, and the overall number of individuals captured, from 51,001 to 51,856.
Ahead of the November election, Trump continued to focus on immigration, a focal point in his 2016 campaign, and vowed to stop those attempting to cross illegally because once migrants are captured, they're released and ordered to appear before an immigration judge, a process known as "catch and release." Many ignore the court proceedings and live illegally in the U.S.
Trump renewed his commitment to border security on Twitter on Thursday night, calling on Democratic congressional leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to join Republicans' efforts to stop illegal immigration.
"Arizona, together with our Military and Border Patrol, is bracing for a massive surge at a NON-WALLED area. WE WILL NOT LET THEM THROUGH. Big danger. Nancy and Chuck must approve Boarder Security and the Wall!" Trump said.
Trump's criticism of the caravan led to it becoming a primary issue in the election. He sent thousands of troops to the southern border just days before the election, something that Democrats criticized as a partisan stunt.