Immigration authorities have apprehended 66,127 unaccompanied children and teenagers on the southwest border so far this fiscal year, or nearly twice the number they arrested at the same point last fiscal year when the total was 35,209, new federal figures show.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently revealed those new numbers when it updated its apprehension statistics on its website, showing figures through the end of August.
Many of those apprehended were fleeing deprivation and gang violence in Central America and seeking to reunite with their families in the U.S. The surge of children crossing the southwest border has added new fuel to the hot button debate over immigration in Georgia.
As of the end of July, federal authorities have transferred 1,412 of the children to the care of sponsors in Georgia. The placement of these children in Georgia prompted a scathing letter last month from Gov. Nathan Deal to President Barack Obama. Saying he was shocked by the development, Deal inquired about the children’s immigration status and the services they would need in Georgia.