Border Patrol Arrests 376 Who Dug Under Barrier in Arizona

Yuma Sector Border Patrol

Customs and Border Protection released photos and video of a long line of migrants standing patiently on a desert road's dirt shoulder after they were stopped.

In a separate incident on Wednesday, the Border Patrol arrested a group of 247 people, mostly from Central America, who turned themselves in to agents in a highly remote part of New Mexico. The agency said that 179 of the record 376 people who crossed the border illegally were children, with over 30 of them being unaccompanied minors.

"It's the largest I've ever heard of", said Judd when asked if this was a significant number for a single group.

Border Patrol spokesman Jose Garibay says there is no concrete under that section of barrier, allowing people to dig short cross-border holes. "Almost all were families or unaccompanied juveniles", CPB Arizona said in a tweet.

Despite steel plates being welded to a barrier of bollards in a bid to prevent illegal crossings by people in vehicles, they have not provided much of a deterrent to those travelling on foot.

Due to the large size of the migrant group, CBP personnel from the surrounding locations were summoned to assist the local agents. "That's really unheard of".

The group used multiple holes in an apparent effort to get everyone across the border quickly, Garibay said. A group of 115 was found in the same area Thursday.

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In December, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal and her father were among 160 migrants picked up by agents in the same stretch of desert.

El Paso shows the biggest percentage increase in the apprehension of family units during the first two months of fiscal year 2018 compared with fiscal year 2019, going from 591 family unit apprehensions in 2018, to 11,617 apprehensions in fiscal year 2019 - a more than 1,800 percent increase.

But while there has been a surge in the number of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States in recent months, the number of arrests remains low by historical standards.

But border security experts have questioned whether Trump's demand for almost $6 billion in funding for a new steel slat barrier along hundreds of miles of the border is the best use of resources to stem illegal immigration into the United States.

So far in fiscal year 2019, now spanning October and November, agents on the southwest border have apprehended a total of 102,857 undocumented persons between ports of entry, 48,287 of which were family units, and 10,265 were unaccompanied minor children.

The stalemate has resulted in a partial government shutdown now in its 28th day with no end in sight, leaving 800,000 federal workers in limbo.

The White House wants over $5 billion for the border wall, but Democrats have so far refused to cave in to the demands, President Trump's signature campaign issue.

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