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2019 already has the highest number of migrant arrests in a decade

A group of 5 migrant women and young girls run through a puddle toward the U.S. border.
Migrants cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

There have been more border arrests so far this fiscal year than in any other full fiscal year in the past decade with close to 600,000 migrant arrests, Customs and Border Protection officials told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. There are still 4 months remaining in FY 2019.

Why it matters: For the third month in a row, there were more than 100,000 border crossings — 144,278 in total. The majority of them were families and children. "The system is broken," acting CBP commissioner John Sanders told reporters. CBP facilities are beyond capacity with 19,000 migrants in their custody and CBP is on track to run out of resources before the end of the year, Sanders said.

  • Immigration agencies have been struggling to handle and care for the large numbers of families and children — a majority from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Many families are quickly released into the U.S. due to lack of space.
  • 75,000 family units have been released since March 19.