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U.S. Sees Uptick In Number Of Children Crossing Its Southern Border

The United States saw an increase in the number of children caught crossing the southern border in August, according to numbers released by U.S. Border Patrol on Monday.

According to that data, its agents apprehended 4,506 children that month, an 8 percent increase from July. That number, however, is still far below the huge numbers that were part of the unaccompanied minor crisis during the summer of 2014. At its peak, authorities then were apprehendingmore than 10,000 children a month.

Still, the White House said it was concerned with the numbers.

"We take this issue very seriously," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during his press briefing. "We're going to continue to be engaged in both trying to stem that flow, but also messaging very clearly to people in Central America who may be thinking about trying to help their child to get into the United States, to urge them not to subject their child to that dangerous journey."

In a statement, Customs and Border Protection said the number of children trying to cross the border was being driven by misinformation given to them by smugglers, as well as continued violence in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

"Overall, the number of UAC apprehensions in 2015 remains significantly lower compared to the number of apprehensions through August of last year, with a 46 percent decrease," CBP said in a statement. "Total apprehensions across our entire Southwest border remain at near-historic lows."

U.S. authorities also saw an increase in the apprehension of families. In August, 5,158 families were apprehended, an 11 percent increase from July.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is an international correspondent for NPR. He was named NPR's Mexico City correspondent in 2022. Before that, he was based in Cape Town, South Africa.
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