Yuma BP ap­pre­hends nearly 450 il­le­gal crossers in 48 hours

Yuma Sun - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAMES GILBERT @YSJAMESGILBERT

Bor­der Pa­trol agents as­signed to Yuma Sta­tion ap­pre­hended more than 400 il­le­gal en­trants who sur­ren­dered to them on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day, in­clud­ing two huge groups of Cen­tral Amer­i­can na­tion­als, to­tal­ing 82 and 83 in­di­vid­u­als, re­spec­tively.

Agent Jose J. Garibay III of the Yuma Pub­lic Af­fairs Of­fice said that just be­fore mid­night on Tues­day, a Bor­der Pa­trol cam­era op­er­a­tor ob­served a group of 82 in­di­vid­u­als il­le­gally cross­ing into the United States by climb­ing over the legacy land­ing mat bor­der wall east of the San Luis Port of En­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Garibay, most of the il­le­gal en­trants were fam­ily units from Gu­atemala,

al­though three were from El Sal­vador, and ranged in age from 2 to 48 years old.

“We don’t have any ev­i­dence right now in­di­cat­ing whether they are con­nected in any way to the mi­grant car­a­van,” Garibay said. “We just don’t know.”

A car­a­van of mi­grants, num­ber­ing roughly 6,000, has been mak­ing its way from Hon­duras to­ward the US-Mex­ico bor­der since Oct. 13. Those in it claim to be flee­ing poverty and vi­o­lence in their home coun­tries and hope to seek asy­lum in Amer­ica. It left Mex­ico City on Fri­day morn­ing.

Garibay ex­plained that ap­prox­i­mately four hours af­ter the first group was ap­pre­hended, a sec­ond group of 83 il­le­gal en­trants were seen dig­ging a shal­low hole un­der­neath an older por­tion of the wall to gain ac­cess into the United States.

“They plan to get caught,” Garibay ex­plained. “Af­ter gain­ing en­try into the coun­try they will wait be­tween the pri­mary and sec­ondary fences, an area we re­fer to as the en­force­ment zone, for an agent to come ap­pre­hend them.”

He went on to ex­plain that where the sec­ond group dug un­der­neath the fence was just a short dis­tance from where the first group had il­le­gally en­tered the coun­try, which is east of the city of San Luis.

This old por­tion of fenc­ing, Garibay said, lacks the im­proved con­crete footer that new wall pro­to­types have, which pre­vents easy dig­ging un­der­neath.

“it is a chal­lenge we are con­stantly hav­ing to deal with,” Garibay said.

The sec­ond group of il­le­gal en­trants was also com­prised of mostly Gu­atemalans, with 14 of them be­ing from El Sal­vador. The group ranged in age from 2 to 40 years old.

By the end of Wed­nes­day, Yuma Sta­tion agents had ap­pre­hended a to­tal of 449 un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants,

the vast ma­jor­ity be­ing fam­ily units from Cen­tral Amer­ica.

Yuma Sec­tor con­tin­ues to see in­creas­ing num­bers of mi­grants cross­ing il­le­gally into its area from coun­tries other than Mex­ico, where they are able to ex­ploit the out­dated in­fra­struc­ture.

LOANED PHOTO BY/YUMA SEC­TOR BOR­DER PA­TROL

JUST BE­FORE MID­NIGHT ON TUES­DAY, a Bor­der Pa­trol cam­era op­er­a­tor ob­served a group of 82 in­di­vid­u­als il­le­gally cross­ing into the United States by climb­ing over the legacy land­ing mat bor­der wall east of the San Luis Port of En­try. By the end of Wed­nes­day, Yuma Sta­tion agents had ap­pre­hended a to­tal of 449 il­le­gal bor­der crossers, the vast ma­jor­ity be­ing fam­ily units from Cen­tral Amer­ica.

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