SAN DIEGO (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people have sought asylum along the U.S.-Mexico border in the last two years, a dramatic increase.
That’s according to a report for the federal government that illustrates how migrants have changed from mostly Mexican men trying to evade capture to more Central American families who often turn themselves in.
Asylum seekers, many of them fleeing drug-fueled violence south of the border, peaked in 2014 at 170,000, nearly triple the 63,000 who arrived the previous year. Before 2012, there were fewer than 30,000 a year.
In the 2015 fiscal year, the number declined to 140,000 people.
The report was written by the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federally funded research organization that was tapped to help develop new measures of border security.