Large Group of 231 Migrants Apprehended at Arizona Border

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
By Paul Martin

1 May 2019

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended a large group of mostly Central American migrants early Tuesday morning. The agents took 231 into custody in the remote area west of the Lukeville Port of Entry.

At about the same time El Paso Sector agents apprehended a record group of 424 migrants near Sunland Park, New Mexico, Ajo Station agents in Arizona encountered the large group of 231. Tucson Sector Border Patrol officials said agents operating surveillance technology systems spotted several large groups congregating near Quitobaquito Springs, Arizona. The surveillance teams continued to monitor the groups while ground-based agents prepared to interdict the illegal crossers.

A health team from the Department of Homeland Security joined to assess the medical condition of the migrants as quickly as possible. In total, the agents apprehended 231 migrants consisting of mostly family units and unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, officials reported.

Tucson Sector officials stated the crossing point is the same one used by a group of 399 migrants who surrendered to Border Patrol agents last week.

This group, combined with the two groups of migrants apprehended in the El Paso Sector at about the same time, brought the total apprehensions of Central American migrants between midnight and 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning to nearly 900.

Agents patrolling near Sunland Park shortly after midnight Tuesday morning encountered what they believed to be more than “400 illegal aliens” who had just crossed the border from Mexico. The agents rounded up all of the migrants and began processing them. A few hours later, the count stood at 424 mostly Central American migrants. Border Patrol officials tweeted this is the “largest group” apprehended by Border Patrol agents.

While the agents processed the Sunland Park migrant group, agents patrolling near the Camp Bounds Forward Operating Base at the Antelope Wells Port of Entry apprehended another large group. This group, apprehended at about 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, consisted of 230, officials stated.

To combat the growing number of fraudulent migrant family and unaccompanied minor claims being made by Central American migrants, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began deploying Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) special agents to border sectors with high volumes of traffic, Breitbart News reported Tuesday.

“ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is redirecting resources to the border in response to cases of fake families using forged documents to illegally enter our country and avoid detention. Our highly-skilled teams are working to stop individuals, networks and organizations facilitating child smuggling and document fraud,” ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence said in a written statement. “ICE along with our partners at CBP, remain committed to protecting children by ensuring they are not used as pawns by individuals attempting to gain entry to the U.S. through fraud.”

“This fraud may include the use of forged birth certificates or other fraudulent documents to establish parentage,” ICE officials stated in a press release on Tuesday. “Forged or other fraudulent documents are also being used by adult illegal aliens to falsely claim they are minors under the age of 18.”

Beginning April 16, ICE deployed three teams of special agents to the El Paso Sector to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in interdiction efforts in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. The agency deployed three additional teams on April 22 to the Rio Grande Valley, Del Rio, Yuma, and El Centro Border Patrol Sectors.

Of 100 interviews conducted since the program began on April 16, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) special agents say they found evidence of fraud in more than 25 percent of family unit claims.

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