Children being used as pawns.

Via AZ Central:

Apprehensions of migrants along the nation’s southern border are the highest in more than a decade, creating what the top U.S. Customs and Border Protection official described Tuesday as a mushrooming crisis that threatens to overwhelm federal authorities.

The influx is being driven by a 300 percent increase in the number of people crossing as part of families compared with 2018. Families, along with unaccompanied children, accounted for 60 percent of all apprehensions since Oct. 1.

“We are currently facing both a border security and humanitarian crisis along our southwest border,” Kevin McAleenan, the Customs and Border Protection commissioner, told reporters.

During the five-month period ended Feb. 28, Border Patrol officers apprehended some 268,000 migrants who entered the United States without legal authorization. More than 76,000 entered in February alone.

In the El Paso sector, which stretches from the westernmost border counties of Texas through all of New Mexico, apprehensions were up 434 percent from the previous year.

People entering as part of family units are outpacing the number of those entering by themselves or in groups on non-relatives, said Brian Hastings, the chief of Border Patrol operations, who joined McAleenan at the briefing.

The Border Patrol, Hastings said, “has no reason to expect this trend to decrease. In fact, it will increase.”

The Border Patrol has apprehended 17,578 family units in the Yuma sector through February of the current fiscal year, which started Oct. 1.

That is up 230 percent compared to the same period last year.

In the Tucson sector, the Border Patrol has apprehended 4,921 family units, up 237 percent compared to last year.

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