(CNSNews.com) - About 135 unaccompanied children, on average, were caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border each day in July, according to the latest data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
That is a monthly record for unaccompanied children (UC) apprehensions so far in Fiscal Year 2015.
According to the updated numbers, 30,862 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended at the border so far in FY 2015, which began on Oct. 1. The CBP’s latest numbers run through July 31.
CNSNews.com previously reported that 26,685 unaccompanied children had been apprehended as of June 30, as CBP data showed at the time. This means another 4,177 were caught during the month of July alone, making it the month with the highest number of UC apprehensions so far in FY 2015.
On Monday, Customs and Border Protection released a statement accompanying the release of its updated numbers, which were delayed by website glitches late last week. In the statement, CBP blamed the uptick of UC apprehensions on “poverty and violence” that “continue to worsen” in Central America, as well as smugglers who “often use misinformation about current immigration policies and practices” to convince people to cross into the United States illegally.
“In July, we experienced a slight increase over June in the number of unaccompanied children and family units apprehended,” CBP said.
“Conditions in Central America continue to worsen, especially the poverty and violence in these countries that are the primary push factors. We are aware that smugglers, or ‘coyotes,’ often use misinformation about current immigration policies and practices to lure illegal migrants to employ their services,” the statement continued.
Despite the increase in apprehensions in July, border apprehensions "remain at near historic lows," CBP added, promising to "continue to monitor the situation closely."
Before July, the month of May held the record for the highest number of UC apprehensions in FY 2015 at 128 per day.
In addition to unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally, another 4,506 family units were apprehended during the month of July, CBP reports. So far this fiscal year, 29,407 family units have been apprehended at the Southwest border. According to the data, 918 of these are from countries other than Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico.
The total number of UC apprehensions so far in FY 2015 is down about 51 percent from the same time period in FY 2014. The total number of family unit apprehensions is down by about 53 percent.