Arizona sees uptick in border crossings

Border patrol agents have seen an increase in border crossings along Arizona's southern border.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 8:36 PM MST
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YUMA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -Despite record-breaking summer temperatures, Arizona is seeing a sharp spike in migrant crossings at the border. The Tucson sector is so busy they’re now bussing migrants into Cochise and Yuma counties.

Over the summer, the Yuma border patrol saw fewer illegal border crossings. Fidel Cabrera, Yuma Sector Border Patrol assistant chief patrol agent, said they’ve seen a slight decrease post Title 42. Cabrera said they’re averaging about 200 people a day. He said it’s due to several reasons, one being the weather. “Part of it is due to the weather, the extreme heat here. The area is not really hospitable,” he said.

With only two months left in the border patrol’s fiscal year, according to the CBP website, the Yuma sector has seen about a 50% decrease so far in border crossings compared to last year. “A lot of the time, it’s the criminal organizations that determine where they go,” he said.

Right now, the Tucson border is where the majority of migrants are crossing in Arizona. The sector has already surpassed last year’s numbers. The latest numbers from July show as many as 1,900 people crossing each day. It’s a 132% increase from June.

Capacity at facilities is so limited Cochise County announced that the border patrol was releasing migrants to the streets. It’s a move local officials and leaders strongly oppose. “It’s sad that you’re going to release some migrants in a community that doesn’t have the basic essentials,” Mark Dannels, Cochise County Sheriff, said. Sheriff Dannels said over 60 migrants had been released since Wednesday. “Then they’re bussed into Cochise County, extradited and processed and then let loose here,” he said.

Yuma border patrol says they are helping out other sectors in need, like Tucson. They expect to see numbers uptick in the Winter, but Cabrera said migration patterns can vary. Meanwhile, leaders in border towns are calling on the president and Congress to step up and help.

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