The Border Patrol found nearly 200 illegal aliens on Sunday, Sept. 16, traveling in two large groups.
The patrol said in a statement on Sept. 19 that agents found one group of 102 people in the Arizona desert, several miles west of the patrol’s Lukeville port of entry.
About an hour later, agents found another large group, consisting of another 91 who had entered the country illegally.
Both groups included children, some as young as 1 year old. Most of the captured immigrants were traveling as families but agents determined 11 children were unaccompanied.
The groups were transported to the Ajo Border Patrol Station and, after determining that no medical care was necessary, agents processed them for immigration violations.
They came from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, the patrol said.
Other Recent Groups Found
A number of groups of illegal aliens have been discovered by agents recently, including a group of 170 people who “sought the first Border Patrol agents they could find to turn themselves in,” according to the patrol.
That group was found early in the morning of Sept. 18 in Granjeno, Texas.
“The group required additional agents to respond and assist, leaving other areas of the river area vulnerable,” the patrol said in a statement.
“As agents prepared the group for transport, the criminal organizations took advantage of the limited resources and simultaneously attempted to smuggle multiple other groups whom actively attempted to evade apprehension,” the statement continued.
"It's a common tactic; it's not a coincidence — the smugglers will send massive groups of that size so agents are inundated with dealing with them so (the smugglers) can pass others through," Rodriguez said. https://t.co/YXpS3SvQw0
— Cristina Silva (@cristymsilva) September 19, 2018
Border Patrol agents encounter another large group of immigrants in the desert https://t.co/2mbkjOTHES
— A Boado ❌ ?? (@adboa95) September 17, 2018
In another case on Sept. 8, 11 adults and children from Guatemala and 10 from El Salvador turned themselves in to Ajo Station Border Patrol agents.
That came four days after agents found 160 illegal immigrants in the same area. On Aug. 28, a group of 103 people was found and on Aug. 20 a group of 128 people was found.
“This is where our law enforcement mission quickly turns from enforcing immigration laws to preserving life by ensuring the welfare and well-being of these migrant families,” said Tucson Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch in a statement. “Transnational criminal organizations are exploiting these immigrant families and demonstrating their blatant disregard for human life.”
Citing the patrol, the Arizona Republic reported that 587 people have been arrested for illegally crossing the Arizona border alone. One large group of 57 people and one another of 95 people were also discovered in June and July, respectively.