More than 15,640 unaccompanied minors were apprehended illegally entering the U.S. from October 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015 according to updated government figures.
The new data show an increase of 3,138 unaccompanied minors over previous totals in February at 12,509 unaccompanied minors.
To be sure, the level of illegal immigration across the southwest border to date is not as high as last year’s unprecedented surge when more than 68,540 unaccompanied minors and more than 68,440 family units were apprehended illegally entering the U.S. though the southern border in a single year.
Figures for family unit apprehensions have also been updated for this fiscal year, showing that from October 2014 though March 2015, there have been 13,911 apprehensions of family units, still less, however than last year.
As with FY 2014, most of the apprehensions are of nationals from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.
While not as large as last year Center for Immigration Studies expert Jessica Vaughan tells Breitbart News that she expects the country is on track to see 35,000-40,000 new arrivals of unaccompanied minors and upwards of 38,000 – 40,000 new family units.
“That will again overwhelm the Border Patrol, ICE and HHS, and impose new burdens on the communities that have to absorb them,” Vaughan explained. “This is a continuing policy disaster of massive proportions that will cause problems for years to come. The Obama administration has botched this every step of the way.”
According to Vaughan the surge from last year never actually stopped and it is in large part due to the incentives for illegal immigration the Obama administration offers — including a new program to allow parents living in the U.S. apply to have their children living in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras come to the U.S.
“What could be more enticing than the knowledge that if you make it here, you will be released into the country to live wherever you want, possibly receive a work permit, and then be able to legally bring in your family that you left behind?” she noted of the The Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole Program.
The new numbers come as reports indicate that Mexico is cracking down on illegal immigration from Central America.
According to statistics from the Mexican government, reported Monday by the International Business Times, deportations of Central Americans has increased drastically in the first two months of 2015, compared to the same two months a year earlier.
In the first two months of 2015 more than 25,000 Central Americans were deported from Mexico, nearly twice the level it deported in the first two months of 2014.
The Washington Office of Latin America notes further that the deportations of minors from Mexico has also increased substantially. In January and February of 2015 Mexico deported 3,289 minors, compared to 1,605 over the same two months in 2014.
Arrests of immigrants is also up, according to IBT’s report, with Mexico detaining 14,026 in January 2015 — more than twice the number detained in January 2014 at 6,295 migrants.