Border Patrol arrested more than 51,000 people trying to cross the U.S. southern border last month as President Trump toured the country doing campaign rallies that touted his proposed border wall and disdain for a caravan of Central American refugees.
The Department of Homeland Security blamed the slight uptick in border apprehensions on a federal judge’s decision to temporarily blocked the administration’s proposal to limit asylum applications.
"The November 2018 border numbers are the predictable result of a broken immigration system – including flawed judicial rulings - that usurps the will of the American people who have repeatedly demanded secure borders," DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman said in statements to NPR and USA Today.
But the ruling, which came out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, didn’t come down until November 20. Waldman did not immediately respond to a VICE News request for comment seeking clarification.
November’s border apprehensions increased by 78 percent from the same period last year. The number of families and unaccompanied children crossing the border also increased from 7,106 to 25,172 and 3,972 to 5,283, respectively. Meanwhile, 10,600 people legally presented themselves at a port of entry in November seeking protection and were either turned away by the U.S. government or willingly withdrew their asylum applications to return to their home countries.
It’s been more than ten years since the U.S. Border Patrol arrested more than 50,000 people in the month of November, according to NPR.
“Bad decisions from the Ninth Circuit are directly responsible for the more than 25,000 family units who violated our national sovereignty and are effectively immune to consequences for their illegal actions,” Waldman told USA Today.
The data were released as Congress continues to debate funding Trump’s proposed southern border wall. Trump has continued to demand $5 billion, although Democrats have waffled on the amount of funding — if any — they’re willing to commit.
Cover image: Central American migrants look through a border fence as a US Border PatRol agents stands guard near the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico, on November 25, 2018. (Photo by GUILLERMO ARIAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images)