by BOB PRICE
14 Mar 2019
Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents say they apprehended nearly 400 migrants in a 48-hour period after they exploited outdated border vehicle barriers to illegally enter the U.S.
Agents monitoring surveillance camera equipment observed a large group of migrants entering the U.S. illegally west of the Lukeville Port of Entry. The agents witnessed the migrants ducking under the post-and-rail vehicle barriers utilized in that section to delineate the Arizona-Mexico border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
Ground-based Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station responded to the scene and took the group of 124 migrants into custody. The agents identified the group as mostly Central American migrant families. In addition to the families, the agents also identified 14 as unaccompanied minors. The migrants came to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, officials reported.
During a 48-hour period surrounding this particular migrant crossing, Ajo Station agents apprehended nearly 400 Central American migrants who surrendered for asylum purposes.
“Illicit transnational criminal organizations exploit the vulnerability of foreign nationals with false promises of legal status and encourage dangerous border crossings, placing lives at risk,” Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials said in a written statement.
During the month of February, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 4,915 migrants who crossed the border between ports of entry. Of those, agents determined that 1,024 were Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) and 443 were Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), according to the February Southwest Border Migration Report.
During the first five months of this fiscal year, Tucson Sector agents apprehended 4,921 FMUA migrants, an increase of 237 percent over the same period in FY2018 when only 1,462 FMUA migrants were apprehended.
Once agents place the migrants in custody in these remote and dangerous areas, they provide an initial medical evaluation. The large groups force the sector to apply additional resources to provide medical screening, security, and transportation as they move the migrants out of the area.