Family Border Crossings Surge to Record High

Word travels fast.  After President Trump signed an executive order in June ending the practice of family separations at the border, the number of migrant families with children crossing the southern border exploded.  U.S. Border Patrol says the number of migrant family members arrested at the southern border increased by 80 percent between July and September, to the largest one-month total on record.  And that was before the current caravan of thousands of migrants from Central America began moving toward America.

The Trump Administration is scrambling to halt the border crossings and find places to detain the thousands of families pouring across claiming asylum, but there are no easy solutions.  "This is clearly a challenge to the sovereignty of the United States," says Mark Krikorian with the Center for Immigration Studies.  He predicts this incident will be a tipping point for voters.  "(This caravan) is going to force the public and elected officials to confront this issue, and that is only going to rebound to the detriment of Democratic candidates," says Krikorian.

President Trump says he's received assurances from Mexico that it will stop the caravan.  Krikorian argues that if these migrants are truly asylum-seekers, there is no need for them to ever reach the U.S.  "These people have an obligation to apply in the first country that they reach where they're not being persecuted," he says.  "And, at the very least, that means Mexico."

Nevertheless, Krikorian predicts many in the caravans will likely reach U.S. soil.  "I think the Mexican government is going to break them up into smaller groups, but they're going to end up coming through the Rio Grande or maybe go further up to California," he says.

If that happens, the President has vowed to send the military to the border to stop them.  "They're not coming into this country," Trump told reporters on Friday.  "They might as well turn back.  They're not coming into this country."

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