400 Migrants Apprehended in Arizona Desert in Two Days

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
By Paul Martin

26 Mar 2019

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended nearly 400 Central American migrant families after they illegally crossed the border in the Arizona desert over the weekend. The strategy of cartel-connected human smugglers continues to tie up Border Patrol resources.

Ajo Station agents patrolling the border west of the Lukeville Port of Entry encountered a large group of migrants early Saturday morning. Agents operating mobile electronic surveillance equipment picked up the migrants as their human smugglers dropped them off along a desolate road that runs just south of the international boundary fencing, according to information obtained from Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials.

Officials reported the group consisted of 216 mostly of migrant family units (one adult with one or more children) from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

On Monday, another large group of migrants crossed illegally. Officials reported this second group consisted of 179 Central American migrant families and unaccompanied minors.

Both migrant groups sought out agents after illegally crossing the border so they could make asylum claims.

The movement of these two large groups into the area forced Border Patrol supervisors to divert additional resources to the scene in order to transport and process the groups.

Department of Homeland Security officials previously stated that the cartel-connected human smugglers use this tactic to “flood the zone” and tie up Border Patrol resources. This enables them to move drugs and other migrants who do not qualify for asylum requests across the border without apprehension.

“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 officials said in a written statement.

Agents transported all of the 395 migrants to the Ajo Station for processing.

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