As the Trump administration has leveled more threats to close the southern border to immigrants, the number of illegal immigrants stopped at the border hit 103,492, the highest in five years, according to just-released U.S. Customs and Border Protection numbers.

The agency seized around 92,607 immigrants at the southern border last month, including 53,000 family units and 8,900 unaccompanied immigrant children.

On individuals, it was an increase of 25,723, or 38% over February. And it was a one-year boost of 55,217, or 148% over March last year, according to a quick analysis by Princeton Policy Advisors.

An earlier version of this story focused on the 92,607, but Border Patrol and the administration said the fuller accounting was 103,492.

That is the highest number on the Border Patrol chart of apprehensions and inadmissibles. The chart dates to October 2014.

“More than 103,000 migrants were apprehended or deemed inadmissible at the southern border in March,” said an official. “We continue to face an unprecedented and unsustainable surge of migrants flooding to our border,” said the administration in the updated accounting of the numbers.

The agency revealed the new numbers in two tweets and a graphic on its webpage.

One said, “#USBP agents apprehended 92,607 individuals along the Southwest border in March—averaging nearly 3,000 apprehensions a day. 76 percent of those apprehended were from 3 countries: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.”

The second said, “#USBP has experienced a rapid increase in family units and unaccompanied children, who make up 62 percent of Southwest border apprehensions. Family unit apprehensions have increased nearly 375 percent compared to the same time period last FY.”

Princeton Policy Advisors President Steven Kopits, who has closely followed the surge in immigrants, said that the change in the expected numbers doesn’t lessen the concern.

“I think the trends suggest a really bad April followed by an even worse May. Potentially really bad,” he said.

He is predicting a yearly total of 1.285 million for calendar year 2019.


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