The U.S. Border Patrol says it detained more than 50,000 people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry in October, setting a new high this year.
The agency released new figures Friday, the same day President Donald Trump issued an executive order declaring that anyone entering the U.S. illegally from Mexico outside of established ports would be ineligible for asylum. Legal groups sued Friday to challenge Trump's order.
The Border Patrol says 50,975 people were apprehended on the southwest border in October. That's double the number from October 2017 and the highest monthly figure since 2014.
The figure includes 4,991 unaccompanied minors. Another 23,121 people were considered "family units," parents and children traveling together.
Border Patrol officials say there's a crisis on the southern border, particularly in South Texas, the busiest corridor for illegal crossings. But apprehension numbers are well below their historical highs from previous decades.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a legal challenge to President Donald Trump's order denying asylum to migrants if they cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in San Francisco and argues the new rules are against the law. Attorney Lee Gelernt says the regulations will put families in danger.
The suit seeks to declare the regulations invalid and want a judge to stop rules from going into effect while the litigation is pending.
The new rules were spurred in part by caravans of Central American migrants slowly moving north on foot, but officials say they will apply to anyone caught crossing illegally. Officials say about 70,000 people who enter the country illegally claim asylum.
The order invoked the same national security powers Trump used to push through his travel ban.
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