The number of Central American children and families crossing the southern U.S. border is expected to increase this summer, overwhelming shelters and courts, the Los Angeles Times reported.
According to new Border Patrol statistics and projections, while the surge will likely be smaller this year, Border Patrol is expecting to catch about 39,000 unaccompanied children and about 53,000 families on the southern border in 2015.
If the projections are correct, it would represented a 43 percent decrease in unaccompanied children and a 23 percent decrease in families compared to last year, but even with the projected decline, the number of families crossing the border illegally would be more than triple the number who crossed in 2013, the Times said.
More than half of those crossing appear to be coming through the Rio Grande Valley, which saw a decrease of 17 percent since the same time last year, Border Patrol reported.
"I don't think the conditions in those countries have changed to stop the push" for families and children to immigrate to the U.S., Bryan Johnson, a New York-based lawyer who works for immigrant youth and families, told the Times.