Family arrivals surge at US-Mexico border in August

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A surge in people coming to the U.S. illegally as families has contributed to an increase of illegal crossings from Mexico.

The number of family arrivals reached nearly 16,000 in August, a sharp increase from July. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan says the figure was one of the highest on record. Families accounted for about one-third of all the people stopped at the border.

McAleenan blames what he calls “legal loopholes,” including a court order that generally prohibits holding children more than 20 days. He calls the increase in family arrivals “a direct response to gaps in the legal framework.”

Overall, people arrested or stopped at the border totaled nearly 47,000 in August, up 17 percent from July and up 34 percent from August 2017.

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