A White House adviser said an "alarming" increase of more than 200 percent in March of apprehensions of people trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico helped to prompt President Donald Trump's decision to deploy National Guard troops at the border.
“It’s alarming. It’s an over 200 percent increase and we're talking about apprehending over 50,000 people attempting to cross our border in one month,” White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Tom Bossert told ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and co-anchor Martha Raddatz on "This Week” Sunday.
The increase in March 2018 over the same month the year before paints a different picture than other figures from the Department of Homeland Security that show the number of people caught crossing the border illegally in 2017 was the lowest since 1971.
In March, the U.S. apprehended 50,308 unauthorized migrants, the highest number since Trump took office and more than double the same period last year, when the figure was at historic lows.
Bossert said, “A lot of the reporting tends to suggest that because we've seen record lows over the last 40 years on an annual basis, that that's good enough.”
“Now we've got a leaking boat on our border and we're all quibbling with how much water is in the boat and how fast we're bailing it out. I think at this point the president's been pretty clear. Enough is enough, fix the actual problem and stop that leak,” the homeland security adviser said.