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Apprehensions of migrant families up 471 percent

While this summer's influx of thousands of unaccompanied minors has become the central focus of the immigration debate, the number of families apprehended along the southwestern border has more than quadrupled from last year.

According to updated statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security, nearly 63,000 people counted as part of a family unit — a parent or guardian traveling with one or more children — were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection between Oct. 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014. 

That's an increase of 471 percent, and a dramatic rise from last year when about 11,000 were apprehended.

In the Tucson Sector, about 3,500 people counted as part of family units were detained after attempting to cross the border or pass through ports of entry, an increase of 53 percent over last year. Apprehensions of people in family units doubled in the Yuma Sector, rising from 204 to 572 in the same time period.

From October through the end of May, a total of 65,962 suspected illegal aliens were detained in the Tucson Sector.

While every border sector reported increases, the Rio Grande Valley and the Del Rio Sector in Texas had increases of more than 500 percent. 

Across all nine border sectors, the number of unaccompanied children detained this fiscal year is now nearly 63,000, doubling the number from 2013.

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Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune