Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton released the following statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Southwest Border Migration numbers for May:
"The May 2018 Southwest Border Migration numbers show that for the third month in a row more than 50,000 illegal border crossers were apprehended. The number of apprehended illegal border crossers increased slightly from the previous month and climbed by 160 percent in May 2018 in comparison to May 2017.
"These numbers show that while the Trump administration is restoring the rule of law, it will take a sustained effort and continuous commitment of resources over many months to disrupt cartels, smugglers, and nefarious actors. We are taking action and will be referring and then prosecuting 100 percent of illegal border crossers, we are building the first new border wall in a decade, and we have deployed the National Guard to the border.
"No one expects to reverse years of political inaction overnight or in a month. It is also clear change will take more than Administration action alone. Congress must act to end legal loopholes that have left us with policies that serve as tremendous magnets for illegal immigration. Smugglers, human traffickers, and nefarious actors know our loopholes well and accordingly exploit them. The refusal by members of Congress to close catch-and-release loopholes have prevented the Administration from controlling the border.
"As the May numbers indicate, we are seeing family units try to illegally cross our borders at staggering rates. In May 2018, the number of illegal family units trying to cross the border increased by 435 percent in comparison to May 2017 – and the number of unaccompanied alien children apprehended illegally crossing the border increased by 329 percent in May 2018 in comparison to May 2017."