The number of people picked up by U.S. law enforcement illegally crossing the border with Mexico surged to its highest point since President Donald Trump took office, as federal officials reported that 60,745 people were apprehended in October, surging almost 75 percent from October of 2017, as the Trump Administration continues to call for extra action on illegal immigration.
"We want people to come into our country, but they have to come into our country legally," the President said Friday before leaving for a weekend trip to France. "They have to come into our country legally."
The jump in the number of illegal immigrants detained by the feds dropped to as low as 15,798 in April of 2017 - back when the President was saying it was because of his call for tougher border enforcement.
The numbers soared to over 51,000 in both April and May of 2018, but then dropped to 40,000 in July.
The announcement of the numbers came just hours after the President had signed a new executive action that would block illegal immigrants from requesting asylum in the United States.
The October numbers showed a distinct increase in the number of families apprehended by the feds, rising to the highest level on record, and an increase of 39 percent over September.
Also picked up were 4,991 "Unaccompanied Alien Children."
Those numbers were going up even before the 'caravan' of illegal immigrants - which has drawn so much attention from the President - moved anywhere close to the U.S.-Mexican border.
The jump in illegal immigration has prompted the President to vent his frustration repeatedly at his inability to get legislation through the Congress to make changes in immigration law, as he made the case in the final days before the election that it's all the fault of Democrats.
"We need Democrat support on new immigration laws to bring us up to date. The laws are obsolete and they're incompetent," the President said Friday.
As the Congress comes back to work for a lame duck session on Tuesday, one unanswered question is what will happen with the President's call for additional money to build a wall along the southern border.
"We need the wall; we're building the wall," Mr. Trump said - but there haven't been the votes in Congress to give him more than $1.6 billion for the plan, and Tuesday's elections only brought more people to Congress who won't be disposed to vote for that money as well.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.