TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Ajo Station, detained 103 illegal aliens from Central America, Monday morning after they illegally entered the United States west of Lukeville, Arizona.
Agents operating mobile surveillance technology first spotted the group in the early morning hours as they walked through the anti-vehicle post-and-rail fence that delineates the U.S./Mexico border. This barrier is ineffective against pedestrian traffic and is why the Border Patrol has asked Congress to fund $5.7 billion for border barriers such as the steel bollard fencing for which President Trump has lobbied. This lack of appropriate infrastructure at the border allows drugs smuggling, human trafficking and illegal entry into the United States.
The group, composed of 81 Guatemalans, and 22 Hondurans, included 59 minors. Along with the family units, eight unaccompanied children were also found as part of the group that ranged in age from 1 to 56 years old.
The area where the group was arrested parallels Mexico’s Federal Highway 2, and is located less than 50 yards from the U.S./Mexico Border. In the last few months, Border Patrol agents have seen an alarming surge of large family groups crossing the border illegally at the direction of human smugglers. A surge that proper border barriers would stem.
Transnational criminal organizations exploit the vulnerability of family groups with false promises of legal status and encourage dangerous border crossings, placing lives at risk.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to Border Patrol by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.