TUCSON – In Fiscal Year 2019, the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol reported an “unprecedented” number of apprehensions and seizures. The Tucson Sector saw an increase of 22 percent over the previous fiscal year with 63,490 apprehensions.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 850,000 individuals who illegally entered the United States along the Southwest Border in FY 2019 nationwide.
Tucson Sector agents saved the lives of 924 people from remote areas, many of whom called 911.
By the end of September, Tucson Sector agents apprehended a record 16,199 individuals who entered the country in family groups and an additional 5,105 unaccompanied children (infants to 17-years-old). An influx of family units to Tucson Sector came mostly from Central America.
“We continue our dedication to border security in 2020,” stated Chief Villareal of the Tucson Sector in a press release. “With agents committed to protecting the United States and partnerships with strong and dedicated federal, state, county, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in Arizona, we’re working on a common goal: to keep our communities safe.”
In FY19, we’ve observed more than 147,000 “got-aways” who crossed the border illegally and successfully evaded arrest. These are just the ones we know about.
We do not know their intent, or what they brought into the U.S. Criminals use the border security crisis as cover. pic.twitter.com/Zk4FMkNMZG
— USBPChief (@USBPChief) October 31, 2019
Family unit apprehensions increased 227% over fiscal 2018, while unaccompanied children increased 2%.
According to CBP, most of the Tucson Sector arrests “continue to be single adult men actively avoiding law enforcement. These 42,186 individuals accounted for 66 percent of Tucson’s total apprehensions.”
At immigration checkpoints and across Southern Arizona, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents seized 59,000 pounds of marijuana, 2,700 pounds of meth, 150 pounds of heroin, and a substantial 13 pounds of fentanyl. Tucson Sector’s 50% decrease in marijuana seizures from FY 2018 is consistent with marijuana decreases across other Border Patrol sectors.
Supplemental funding, cooperation with the Government of Mexico, and new agreements made with Central American countries are credited with a decrease in illegal entries along the Southwest Border since May 2019. Officials are counting on new border infrastructure to further prevent human smuggling and drug trafficking.
In Tucson Sector, construction on new border wall began near Lukeville, where the largest groups of family units entered and surrendered to agents, as well as near Douglas.