US releases Central American families, won't say how many

View of the U.S.-Mexico Port of Entry in Southern California. (File) (Sandy Huffaker, Getty Images)
View of the U.S.-Mexico Port of Entry in Southern California. (File) (Sandy Huffaker, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/23 3:58 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has released into the U.S. an untold number of immigrant families who were caught traveling illegally from Central America in recent months. Although the government knows how many it's released, it won't say publicly.

Senior U.S. officials directly familiar with the issue, including at the Homeland Security Department and White House, have so far dodged the answer on at least seven occasions over two weeks. They have alternately said they did not know the figure or didn't have it immediately at hand.

The figure is widely believed to exceed 40,000 since October. It's believed to be slightly below the roughly 52,000 children caught traveling illegally from Central America over the same period, an extraordinary increase since last year that is driving a humanitarian crisis at the border.

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