The number of migrants detained along the Mexican border rose to the highest level of Trump's presidency in October, according to figures released on Friday by US Customs and Border Patrol.
The increase in illegal crossings continued to be driven by a record number of parents arriving with children. This trend has accelerated dramatically since the Trump administration discontinued its family Zero Tolerance policy in June.
Border Patrol agents arrested 23,121 migrants' families last month, an increase of 39 percent from September and the highest ever recorded one-month period. In total, CBP arrested 60,745 people along the Mexican border as inadmissible or inadmissible in October, far more than in any other month since Trump took office.
Homeland Security officials did not comment on the October figures on Friday. Trump has in the past viewed the numbers as a measure of the performance of his border guards, and in particular the Interior Minister for Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, who is not expected to hold on to his role for much longer.
When Trump arrived in France on Friday, it was not clear if the president had pushed the limit figures up again in October.
DHS officials blame the rise on what they say is a barrage of light-handed asylum applications from Central Americans trying to avoid deportation by playing the US immigration system. Trump issued a presidential statement on Friday imposing new asylum protection restrictions on migrants crossing the border illegally, citing the same executive authority that was cited last year under its travel ban.
A coalition of civil rights groups, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a suit on Friday in San Francisco seeking an injunction against what it calls a violation of federal law and violation of immigration laws.
The increase in arrests at the border in October was again driven by a large number of Guatemala and Honduran migrants, many of whom are fleeing violence and poverty.
An estimated 7,000 to 10,000 Central Americans travel to the US border in loose caravans of unprecedented size. The arrests in October do not include members of these groups.
They will arrive at a border where more than 7,000 US soldiers have been deployed to prevent further illegal crossings. Record proportions of those illegally crossed today are women with children who simply turn to US border officials for fear of returning.
US courts limit the government's ability to keep children in immigration detention centers, and since family-friendly detention capacity has been exhausted, the government has processed and released a large number of migrants in Arizona and California.
Last month, which recorded that CBP had recorded more than 60,000 arrests and "illegal" cross-border commuters, was November 2016, the month in which Trump was elected.
Border arrests fell to their lowest level since 1971 in the first year of Trump's presidency, and as the numbers recovered this spring, the president turned much of his anger to Nielsen. His government attempted to stop the rise by separating the parents from their children, but Trump abandoned politics after six weeks amid widespread outrage.