(WASHINGTON TIMES) The southwest border has cracked open over the last year as illegal immigrants into the U.S. spiked some 23 percent, according to the latest Homeland Security numbers released Monday.

Nearly 409,000 illegal immigrants were nabbed at the border in fiscal 2016 — up from about 331,000 a year earlier — and Homeland Security officials say the increased arrests also means an increase in the number that are sneaking by them.

Worse yet, the number of illegal immigrants traveling as families, fleeing rough conditions in Central America and enticed by the promise of lax enforcement in the U.S., reached a record high of 77,674. Unaccompanied minors — those children traveling without their parents — also rose to nearly 60,000, though that was still shy of the record set in 2014.

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