Border arrests surged to highest levels of Trump presidency in October

Homeland security officials blame the growing numbers of arrests on what they decry as a flood of frivolous asylum claims by Central Americans attempting to game the U.S. immigration system.

The number of migrants taken into custody along the Mexico border reached the highest total of the Trump presidency in October, according to figures released late Friday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Border Patrol agents last month arrested 23,121 migrant family members, the highest one-month total on record, and a 38 percent jump from September. In total, CBP arrested or deemed inadmissible 60,745 people along the Mexico border in October, far more than any other month since Trump took office.

Homeland Security officials did not comment Friday on the October figures, but they blame the growing numbers of arrests on what they decry as a flood of frivolous asylum claims by Central Americans attempting to game the U.S. immigration system.

The Trump administration this week announced new measures to deny asylum protections to migrants who cross the border illegally, invoking emergency presidential powers. A coalition of civil rights groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Friday in San Francisco seeking an injunction to block the measures.

An estimated 7,000 to 10,000 Central Americans are traveling toward the U.S. border in loose caravans, and the October arrest totals do not include members of those groups.