The black and white video, released on Aug. 30 by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in Arizona, shows a line of people making their way along a path on the Mexico side of the border near Sasabe on Aug. 27 before they approach the fence, when the video cuts out.
“Wednesday morning a group of 66 people, mostly family units, crossed the border where the fence ends east of Sasabe,” said the Arizona CBP in a statement. “Video shows the group approaching the fence and walking to the end. Thirty percent of apprehensions in the Tucson Sector are family units surrendering to Border Patrol.”
Wednesday morning a group of 66 people, mostly family units, crossed the border where the fence ends east of Sasabe. Video shows the group approaching the fence and walking to the end. 30% of apprehensions in the #TucsonSector are family units surrendering to #BorderPatrol. pic.twitter.com/C5wI3HKLrt
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) August 29, 2019
Eight people were hospitalized on June 6, when 134 people made the same journey at the remote location where the pedestrian fence gives way to a vehicle barrier, according to the CBP, before immediately surrendering to authorities. Video shows them simply walk around the end of the fence and into the United States across the border.
According to the CBP website, there are approximately 300 miles of vehicle barriers along the southwest border, and 354 miles of pedestrian barriers for a total of 654 miles of the 1,954-mile border. It is unclear whether this has been updated to reflect recent developments in border security.
Video of a large group of 134 Central Americans walking around the end of the border wall in Sasabe on Tuesday. The group immediately surrendered to @CBP #USBP agents. Eight people in the group were hospitalized. For HD video: https://t.co/SMOPKTNt3g pic.twitter.com/BpasR5NHIx
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) June 5, 2019
The fence ends about three miles east of the nearby twin town of Sasabe, which straddles the border with its American and Mexican alter egos, where immigrants can be processed at the entry barrier.
Instead of waiting at the official ports of entry, some brave the heat and desolation of the desert.
“They kind of know to just expect a free ride to the processing area,” Border Patrol Agent Joe Curran told ABC in June. “They know we’re going to pick them up. They see our vehicles, and that’s their beacon of hope.”
The temperatures in the Arizona desert can reach well over 100 degrees in the summer.
Border Patrol agents serve in concurrent humanitarian and enforcement missions in their complex job. Just a few hours after yesterday’s entry of 134 illegal border crossers in Sasabe, more Central Americans surrendered to #TucsonSector #USBP agents at the same location. pic.twitter.com/6p2Bo2RoaD
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) June 6, 2019
A 7-year-old Indian national was found dead about 100 miles to the east of Sasabe in Lukeville on June 13, after being dropped off with four others by smugglers, and left to cross the border.
CBP said in a statement that they were unable to reach the girl in time after being alerted by her family who said they had lost contact with her in the arid desert.
In previous years, attempts to cross have peaked in the milder weather of early spring and mid-autumn. However, according to ABC, this year a record number of apprehensions were reported by Border Patrol in May.
Humanitarian groups who put out potentially life-saving jugs of water say that they have noticed the shift in pattern, according to ABC.
A deceased child, believed to be a seven-year-old citizen of India, was discovered 17 miles west of Lukeville by U.S. Border Patrol yesterday morning. Bi-national search for anyone associated continues. @CBP #TucsonSector Details: https://t.co/tQAxifezk5 pic.twitter.com/XBJkDpJH02
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) June 13, 2019
To the west of Sasabe, the pedestrian fence also stops as the border runs for 75 miles through the Tohono O’odham Nation.
The tribe’s remote territory sits in both Mexico and the United States, and it has been opposed to the construction of a proposed 30-foot-high wall, saying it will nonetheless cooperate closely with Border Patrol to ensure the border is secure.
“The Nation has been on the frontline of border issues for over 160 years and takes these issues very seriously,” said a statement (pdf) by the Nation in response to an executive order declared in Jan. 2017 by President Trump. “While the Nation does not support a large-scale fortified wall, it has worked closely for decades with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and other agencies to secure the U.S. homeland.”