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Verify: DHS chief says illegal border crossings are on the rise

The Homeland Security secretary declared a "crisis point" in the fight against illegal border crossers, citing a recent uptick in activity here in the Southwest.

The Department of Homeland Security is reporting more than 37,000 arrests for illegal border crossings along the Southwest border this past month.

That’s a 37-percent increase from February, and the highest month-to-month increase we’ve seen since 2011.

“It seems that the numbers do not pan out,” said Ruben Reyes, an immigration attorney. “Fiscally speaking, we know that current border crossing from Central Americans and Mexican Nationals are at their lowest point in 30 years.”

Reyes said he has seen an uptick this year, but in a different set of numbers.

“What I am seeing is a higher detention rate for individuals who, in previous administrations, would’ve been released for posing no danger and not being a flight risk.”

The data show illegal border crossings are actually down 13 percent so far this year when compared to last year’s numbers.

And President Trump himself recently tweeted that crossings are at an “unacceptable” 46-year low, which means he still wants those numbers to fall even more.

Gov. Doug Ducey, who would ultimately make the decision whether to deploy the state’s National Guard, supports the move.

Meanwhile, Congressman Ruben Gallego slammed it.

“On a whim, just order the National Guard to any part of this country without there actually being a verified threat or issue – really should concern us all,” he said.

But what’s behind the sharp increase? Looking at the data, it suggests a yearly seasonal increase during the springtime.

Reyes also points out that many people are looking for asylum from the violence in their home countries.

“Where these numbers are coming from, we don’t believe it’s based on crossings. It might be more based on individuals who are detained post-crossing," he said.

So we can verify that there’s been an uptick in the number of illegal border crossers, but the variables related to that increase cannot fully be verified without complete information from the government.

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