Another migrant group smuggled to New Mexico

Yuma Sector Border Patrol

Since October 1, 2018, the CBP says that 24 large groups of about 100 or more have illegally crossed the border near Lordsburg, New Mexico.

The group members dug under a steel barrier in seven spots about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of a border crossing in San Luis and made no effort to elude immigration agents.

This Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 photo released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows some of 376 Central Americans the Border Patrol says it arrested in southwest Arizona, the vast majority of them families, who used short holes dug under a barrier to cross the border in multiple spots about 10 miles east of San Luis, Ariz. It was the largest single group of asylum seekers ever to cross into the U.S.

The area became a major corridor for illegal crossings in the mid-2000s, prompting the federal government to weld steel plates to a barrier made of steel bollards that had been created to stop people in vehicles, not on foot, Border Patrol spokesman Jose Garibay III said.

"They dug under the fence", National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told CNN.

He said that he had paid a coyote $5,000 to get them across the border quickly.

Another group of 115 were found in the same area on Thursday, again featuring large numbers of Guatemalans. CBP has not confirmed exactly where the new fencing will be placed.

"This old portion of wall lacks the improved concrete footer that new wall prototypes have which prevents easy digging underneath", CBP said in a press release at the time.

"In my 30 years with the Border Patrol, I have not been part of arresting a group of 376 people", CBP Yuma Border Sector Chief Anthony Porvaznik told ABC News.

Monday's group of migrants was the first of at least two large groups to arrive at the USA border this week.

A large group of Central Americans, mostly families and unaccompanied children, crossed into the United States from Mexico near Yuma earlier this week.

So far in fiscal year 2019, now spanning October and November, agents on the southwest border have apprehended a total of 102,857 undocumented persons between ports of entry, 48,287 of which were family units, and 10,265 were unaccompanied minor children.

US President Donald Trump has said the situation at the US-Mexican border a "humanitarian crisis" and urged Democrats to approve funding for tightening border security.

The Border Patrol released more information about that group Friday, saying that the crossing had been timed to serve as a distraction so illegal drugs could be moved across the border just west of Antelope Wells.

Questions also remain about whether a wall would alleviate the humanitarian situation driven by an uptick in asylum seekers presenting themselves at the USA border. The video shows numerous children being passed over the barrier, as well.

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