By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - Nearly 1 million migrants have been arrested along Mexico’s northern border in fiscal year 2019, according to a U.S. border official.
Speaking at a press briefing at the White House, Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan said the agency faced "unprecedented and staggering" levels of illegal crossings for the year.
"CBP enforcement actions on the southwest border totaled nearly one million in the fiscal year 2019," said Morgan. "This is a staggering 88 percent higher than the number of enforcement actions in 2018."
U.S. President Donald Trump has pursued a hardline approach to immigration, both legal and illegal, since coming to office and has particularly singled out Mexico for what he says is a lack of action to stem migrant flows, where people are fleeing destitute conditions, including rampant poverty and gang violence in the hopes of securing safety or asylum in the U.S.
"These are numbers that no immigration system in the world is designed to handle," he said.
Morgan also said September marked the lowest number of law enforcement action --just over 52,000 individuals were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In August, U.S. immigration authorities took into custody 64,000 migrants.
He said the decline came after further cooperation from Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador in limiting the flow of migrants toward the U.S.