Today, Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 980 individuals that illegally crossed the border in 3 large groups. The groups, mostly comprised of family units from Central America, were apprehended in the El Paso and Tucson Sectors.
U.S. Border Patrol camera operators spotted a mass of people before 5:00 a.m., arrive in multiple buses just south of the U.S.-Mexico border approximately 14 miles west of the Port of Lukeville. The group of 360 migrants then surrendered to agents after they illegally entered the country.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, agents watched as the group exited the buses and walked under the vehicle barrier that sits on the international boundary.
The group consisted of mostly family units from Central America.
Ajo Border Patrol agents quickly worked to determine if any members of the group needed medical attention, and then began to transport the group for processing, according to CBP.
National Park Service employees assisted agents at the site of the crossing, which sits on the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Additional Border Patrol assets from around the Tucson Sector were diverted to provide humanitarian, transportation, and processing assistance for the large group.
A group of 50 Central Americans surrendered to #YumaSector Border Patrol agents on Saturday. Over 1000 illegal aliens were apprehended over the last 3 days in Yuma. Most were family units and children. @CBP #SouthwestBorder pic.twitter.com/SIy6ZpkKSO
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) April 16, 2019
CBP issued a press release in which it is noted that the agency is “facing an alarming trend in the rising volume of people illegally crossing our Southwest Border. The arriving flow is made up primarily of Central American families and unaccompanied children. This stark and increasing shift to more vulnerable populations, combined with the overwhelming numbers, and inadequate capacity to detain families and children has created a humanitarian and border security crisis.”
CBP says the “increase in apprehensions is taxing the entire immigration system, especially the capabilities of ICE and CBP, creating an untenable situation for both CBP personnel and migrants.”
Later in the day, Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls signed a Proclamation of Emergency, due to the high number of migrant family releases by U.S. Border Patrol which is overwhelming the non-profit shelter system.