U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) agents in Arizona arrested 800 migrants, most of whom were members of family units, attempting to cross the border during a two day period that began Sunday.
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) March 26, 2019
The Yuma border patrol sector, which spans 126 miles of desert from California to Arizona, has seen a 230 percent increase in family unit apprehensions and a 36 percent increase in unaccompanied minor apprehensions so far this fiscal year when compared to the previous year, according to CPB data released earlier this month.
The recent influx of family units poses a unique challenge for CPB officials, who say they lack the resources to detain members of a family unit as they await their asylum hearings. Due to the lack of resources, CPB agents in Texas have resorted to releasing hundreds of migrants into the care of charity organizations with a directive to return and surrender themselves on their appointed court date.
While the problem is most pronounced in Texas, Arizona has in recent days begun to feel the effects of the influx of Central American migrants.
“Our facilities weren’t designed to house families, we weren’t prepared for the influx of people that need medical care,” Tucson sector chief Roy Villareal said Saturday. “On a daily basis, I’m sending anywhere from 30 to 50 agents with the migrants for medical care.”