More than 12,500 unaccompanied unaccompanied minors have been apprehended illegally entering the U.S. through the southwest border this fiscal year, according to the most recent Customs and Border Protection data.
Additionally, more than 11,130 family units have also been apprehended in the same October to February time period.
Both the UAC and family unit apprehension are, as last year, largely from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.
The most recent influx of illegal immigration comes following last year’s record-breaking surge from Central America. In 2014, tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children and family units streamed across the border.
According to the Washington Examiner, despite the historic illegal immigration level, Border Patrol is only returning one out of every six illegal immigrant children to their home countries — as Immigration and Customs Enforcement is taking on an average of 2,000 children a month.
Jessica Vaughan, a Center for Immigration Studies expert, told the publication that based on her projections she expects to see Border Patrol apprehend about 42,000 UACs this year.
“And this is supposed to be the slow time of year,” Vaughan told the Examiner. “Cities and towns that have already received large numbers of unaccompanied illegal alien minors should brace themselves to repeat the process again in the coming months.”