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More than 170,000 people encountered at US southern border; 70% increase from February

In the 170,000 plus people reported, more than 18,000 are designated as unaccompanied minors.

TYLER, Texas — New numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show a big increase in people crossing the southern border including a record number of unaccompanied minors in March. 

In 2020, the number peaked at 70,000 crossings at the southern border. 

Through the first three months of 2021, the numbers have skyrocketed. Nearly 80,000 in January, over 100,000 in February, and more than 170,000 in March. 

"They believe that once Biden took office, things were going to radically change overnight," Gilbert Urbina with the Hispanic American Association of East Texas said. "And that's misinformation that they have because it wasn't presented that way by the administration."

The Hispanic American Association of East Texas offers assistance to low-income immigrants from all over the world, including people crossing the southern border. 

Urbina says the number of people coming to America is overwhelming. 

"It's compounded by the fear that we have of COVID," Urbina said. "So it's just not a normal migration. It's an influx of people during a pandemic."

In the 170,000 people reported, more than 18,000 are designated as unaccompanied minors. 

"A lot of times the mentality of the parents are, if we cannot make it at least we want our children to make it," Urbina said. 

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