The country saw another surge of illegal immigrant families crossing the border in July, a top Homeland Security official told a federal court late Thursday as the administration begged a judge not to forbid detention of new migrant mothers and children.

Deputy Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello said the number of illegal immigrant families captured at the border rose in July, bucking a trend and worrying officials who had been expecting the number of families to drop as the heat increases in late summer, just as the number of unaccompanied minors does.

Even worse, the administration fears things may get worse if illegal immigrants hear about Judge Dolly M. Gee’s July 24 ruling all but prohibiting detention of illegal immigrant families.

Indeed, the administration warned that Central American parents may actually be enticed to bring their children on the perilous journey north, realizing that they can use their kids as shields to get themselves released from detention. That, in turn, could mean more even children being forced to make the trip up.

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