Border Patrol Tucson Sector Chief Reports 13,000 Apprehensions in a Week

Communities along the southern border, spanning from Texas to California, are grappling with a surge in migrants seeking shelter, according to officials.

In a statement released to ABC affiliate KVIA on Monday, Laura Cruz-Acosta, the Strategic Communications Director for El Paso, revealed that the region had experienced a significant increase in border encounters over the past week, averaging over 1,200 per day. During the same period, the city, along with its Office of Emergency Management (OEM), reported accommodating more than 4,200 migrants in hotels.

Another indicator of the mounting migrant arrivals is the recent announcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Friday, stating the suspension of cargo processing at the Bridge of the Americas in El Paso.

This temporary closure is intended to enable CBP’s Office of Field Operations officers to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in processing noncitizens, including vulnerable populations like families and unaccompanied children, who have arrived between the ports of entry.

The influx of asylum seekers prompted the county’s Office of Emergency Management to establish an overflow facility at a recreation center, though it remained unused as of Monday night, as per Cruz-Acosta. She emphasized that El Paso officials are closely collaborating with CBP/ICE, the county, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to manage the situation.

To date, the city has not resorted to street releases, as has been observed in California and Arizona. Instead, they are utilizing hotels as a more humane alternative to emergency shelters, particularly for families.

Meanwhile, Mark Evans, the spokesperson for Pima County, Arizona, reported that CBP has encountered more than 2,000 individuals daily in the Tucson sector over the past eight days. The county’s hotels and temporary shelters have been running at or near capacity in recent days, with numbers fluctuating daily.

On a single Saturday, the county received 1,100 individuals, of which 300 had to be sheltered, while the rest either moved to other locations or were transferred to neighboring counties. When the county reaches its capacity, it transports some migrants to shelters in Phoenix.

Border Patrol Tucson Sector Chief John Modlin shared on social media that there were 13,000 apprehensions in the past week.

While CBP did not disclose the number of migrants released into communities, they affirmed that they work with NGOs to facilitate the release of migrants who have completed processing.

When NGOs are overwhelmed, U.S. Border Patrol coordinates with local governments to find alternative drop-off locations for migrants to access transportation and services. However, Evans claimed that Border Patrol has been releasing some migrants without informing officials due to facility overcrowding.

CBP pushed back on these claims, asserting that they have identified locations in coordination with state and local partners and maintain regular communication with them.

Evans noted that the last time the county encountered such high numbers was in May 2023, prior to the end of the Trump-era policy known as Title 42, which was used to deny migrants the opportunity to seek asylum.

CBP spokespersons stated that since Spring, cartels have been smuggling family units and other “nontraditional” migrants to remote areas within the Tucson sector.

In the San Diego Sector, CBP temporarily suspended pedestrian crossings at the Ped West facility in San Ysidro, CA, allowing officers to assist Border Patrol there.

San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond expressed concern on social media, stating that as of Tuesday morning, “3,335 migrants had been dropped off in San Diego” over a five-day period. He decried this situation as a federal government failure that cannot persist.

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