Illegal immigration on the southwestern border spiked 14 percent over the past year, marking the third straight increase, though Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said it was almost all because of the surge of illegal immigrant children and families from Central America — a crisis he said is subsiding.

In a broad speech on the state of border enforcement, Mr. Johnson promised more transparency from his department but challenged the press to be responsible in reporting on threats such as Ebola and the possibility of terrorists crossing the border.

He said he was not delivering “a ‘mission accomplished’ speech” and acknowledged that more needs to be done to secure the borders.

However, he said the summer flood of unaccompanied Central American children and families has fallen to rates not seen since 2012.

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