The number of family members apprehended along the U.S. border with Mexico rose significantly in the first six months of the year in line with the Trump administration's new "zero tolerance" policy
towards migrants which was introduced in April. 203,000 people were taken into custody between January and June 2018 compared to 104,000 during the same period in 2017. 48,588 family members were among those interned this year, along with just over 26,000 unaccompanied children.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data published by Pew Research
, those numbers represesent a sharp increase on the first half of 2017 when 18,569 family members and 11,775 unaccompanied children were apprehended on the Southwest border. In May of last year, 1,580 family members were apprehended and in the same month this year, that had increased to 9,485. That figure is still lower than in May 2014 when an immigration surge saw 12,772 family members detained.
In recent weeks, the issue has proven hugely controversial with thousands of children separated from their families
. According to NBC News, a grand total of 4,100 children were separated from their parents and 2,342 seperations happened since May 5 of this year. The Trump administration has now officially ended its separation policy with a federal court ordering all children under 5 to be reunited with their parents by July 10 and all others by July 26.