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Border Patrol Arrests 376 Who Dug Under Barrier in Arizona
20 January 2019, 12:47 | Tara Lloyd
Yuma Sector Border Patrol
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported they arrested the largest group of illegal immigrants crossing US-Mexico border on their record earlier this week.
Due to the large size of the migrant group, CBP personnel from the surrounding locations were summoned to assist the local agents. "Smugglers dug a series of seven holes, only a few feet long beneath the steel border fence, with hundreds going beneath the wall and a smaller number clambering over it".
However, the bollards had been created to stop people in vehicles, not on foot, Border Patrol spokesman Jose Garibay said, and in those spots, there was no concrete footing to prevent digging. They were taken to Yuma after entering the country Monday.
Border Patrol officials said agents would be processing the aforementioned apprehended subjects accordingly, according to the release.
It is believed to be the largest single group to cross the border illegally to request asylum. "They know that if you travel with a child, or there's a child with you when you cross, then you have to be released within 20 days".
'The only thing that solves that problem is a change in the law, ' CBP Yuma Border Sector Chief Anthony Porvaznik told ABC News.
Were there children in the group?
The asylum seekers were separated into cells: fathers with sons, fathers with daughters, unaccompanied minors and mothers with children. "As I mentioned, 87 percent of the apprehensions here are family units and unaccompanied alien children".
The group is believed to be the largest one yet to cross the border in a bid to get asylum in the U.S. The agency noted that smugglers often try to transport large groups of people and instruct them to cross the border and voluntarily surrender.
Deadlock over the demand led to the partial federal government shutdown, which entered its 28th day on Friday and is now the longest in USA history.
The number of people being taken into custody after illegally crossing the border has fluctuated in recent years between 400,000 and 570,000 people.
The crossing comes amid a political showdown in Washington, D.C., where President Trump has been sparring with Congressional Democrats over funding for the border wall, leaving the government closed for 28 days now.
But despite a recent surge in asylum-seeking families from Central America in recent months, the data indicated that border arrests remain low by historical standards.
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