The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that "illegal" crossing attempts from the Southwest border tripled in March compared with a year ago.
"We saw a 203 percent increase from March 2017 compared to March 2018 and a 37 percent increase from last month to this month — the largest increase from month to month since 2011," Tyler Houlton, the DHS press secretary, said in a statement.
It comes on the heels of President Donald Trump this week announcing a plan to deploy National Guard troops at the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump also repeated his call for more security at the border in remarks Thursday while making claims about an immigrant "caravan" in Mexico heading toward the U.S. border.
The DHS official also said "the crisis at our Southwest border is real. The number of illegal border crossings during the month of March shows an urgent need to address the ongoing situation at the border."