The number of immigrants arrested or turned away at the southern border has continued to climb to levels not seen for years, according to new Department of Homeland Security data obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The surge has been driven by an influx of migrant families and unaccompanied children, according to a DHS official. “At the moment, we have the closest thing to an open border that we’ve had,” said Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney and member of a Homeland Security advisory committee formed by DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen several months ago…

Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection have even begun releasing migrant families into the U.S. almost immediately instead of holding them in detention, Mark Morgan, former chief of Customs and Border Protection under Barack Obama, told Axios. He said this could create an additional incentive for migrants.