Customs and Border Protection say agents have apprehended 53 large groups attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border since October, a “dramatic increase” in the number of groups of 100 or more illegal immigrants trying to get into the U.S., according to NBC News.
In total, 8,797 illegal immigrants have been caught, with 84.6 percent consisting of migrant families. The immigrants were from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
The overall number of apprehensions has dropped significantly over the past two years, but the dynamics have changed, according to CBP agent Fernando Grijalva.
“Now it’s a lot of unaccompanied children or family groups,” he said.
Just last week, a group of 84 men, women and children were dropped off by a tour bus on a Mexican highway before they crossed into Arizona. A few days prior, a record 376 migrants, including 179 children, were seen crossing into the U.S. beneath the border wall near San Luis, Arizona.
President Donald Trump on Thursday was reportedly readying to declare a national emergency along the southern border and had identified more than $7 billion in potential funds for his signature border wall, citing the “massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day” as a “direct threat to the safety and security of our nation.”