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With More Central American Migrants Coming to U.S., Concerns About Another Surge

Two members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang - an organized crime group founded by Salvadorans in California - inside a jail in El Salvador. New statistics show that more Salvadorans are fleeing violence which is driven in large measure today by gang warfare. (Lorne Matalon)

New numbers from the U.S. Border Patrol show that the number of families illegally crossing the southern border has more than doubled since the same time period last fall.

That's causing concern that there could be a new surge of migrants from Central American on the horizon. Last summer, tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors and families fled violence in their home countries and crossed into the U.S.

Nearly 4,500 unaccompanied minors were apprehend in September, an 85% increase from September 2014.

Our Fronteras Desk Correspondent Lorne Matalon joined us from El Salvador to talk about the latest numbers and what's driving people to leave Central America.

He reports that El Salvador has seen an explosion of violence since a two-year truce between two powerful gangs dissolved and drove homicides up to nearly 5,500 so far in 2015.

Travis Bubenik is All Things Considered Host and Big Bend Reporter at Marfa Public Radio.