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Number of migrants apprehended at US southern border in March, most per month in two decades

The last time migrant apprehensions were this high was over twenty years ago.

U.S.-Mexico border
U.S.-Mexico border
(Getty Images)
Updated: April 2, 2021 - 4:16pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

U.S. authorities last month caught more than 171,000 illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, the highest monthly total in two decades, according to a news report Friday.

The preliminary arrest totals in March at the southern border is also highest monthly level since April 2000, when U.S. border patrol agents caught over 180,000 illegal migrants, according to the report by Reuters.

The total includes roughly 19,000 unaccompanied minors and 53,000 family members traveling together, the figures show.

Single adults made up roughly 99,000 of the total.

The March figures show a 178% increase in the number of migrant families caught at the border, compared to February, the wire service also reports.

More than half of the 19,000 family members caught at the border in February were not expelled, according to public U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, with many released into the United States to pursue immigration court cases.

Reuters also obtained three daily U.S. border enforcement reports in March that showed only 14-16% of family members were expelled on those days.

A CBP spokesman told the wire service that official statistics would likely be released next week

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