US detaining more migrants at Mexico border: officials

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Washington (AFP)

The number of people caught trying to enter the United States illegally from Mexico rose in the first months of this year compared to the same period last year, officials said Monday.

The US authorities detained 33,335 people in March, up 11 percent from the same month in 2015, the US Border Patrol said, providing no explanation for why.

Detentions in October and November were similar to levels in the same months of 2013, when the number of attempted entries spiked, especially by unaccompanied minors.

That wave triggered an outpouring of concern for the children among Americans, prompting the government to take emergency measures to look after them in mid-2014.

Many of the migrants come from Central America, a region plagued by poverty, street gangs and drug-related violence.

Countries there are due to receive 750 million dollars in US aid this year to boost security and living standards and discourage people from embarking on dangerous trips through Mexico to the United States.