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NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO (NPR) – The U.S. Border Patrol apprehended more than 66,000 migrants at the Southern border in February, the highest total for a single month in almost a decade.

The majority of those arrested were migrant families or children traveling alone or without a parent, according to figures released Tuesday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Many of the migrants say they’re fleeing criminal gangs and poverty in Central America to seek asylum in the United States.

“This is clearly both a border security and humanitarian crisis,” said CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan at a press briefing.

Between October and last week, Border Patrol agents have picked up more than 260,000 people — a 90 percent jump over the same period a year ago.

“The entire system right now is at full capacity. Actually, it’s overwhelmed,” said Manuel Padilla, a veteran Border Patrol agent who’s now director of Joint Task Force-West in San Antonio, part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Editor’s Note: Click here to read the full news story from NPR reporters Joel Rose and John Burnett.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news clip shows Honduran migrants surrendering to the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing a border wall into the United States. According to new federal data, the number of migrants apprehended crossing the border in recent months has surged. (Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP)

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