YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The migrants who were recently caught in a van by border patrol, torched a hole in the border wall to enter the United States, according to Yuma County Supervisor, Jonathan Lines.
The manager of this date grove told us, early Friday morning, while farmers were working in the grove, they noticed something suspicious, migrants torching a hole in the border wall.
A social media post by U.S. Border Patrol Yuma Sector says they then entered a getaway van near County 9th Street and Levee Road, and drove off.
The manager of the date grove, who was working at the time, wants to remain anonymous for his own safety, but says he reported this smuggling attempt to border patrol immediately.
Both he and Lines say this is the fourth time this has happened in the past month.
“The cartels have kind of changed their tactics, while border patrol has been busy at the northern and southern ends of the wall, they’ve actually taken to start cutting through the wall. A lot of the agricultural workers in this area have been working and actually observed them cutting through the walls while they have had armed guards,” said Lines.
The farmer says the van left the area at a high speed, with agents stopping the vehicle in Bard, California, finding 33 migrants crammed inside.
The social media post also stated there was a three-year-old child with her mother and a 12-year-old traveling by herself in the vehicle.
According to border patrol, agents arrested a U.S. citizen who was driving the van and a Mexican national who was the passenger who will be prosecuted for smuggling and face incarceration.
Yuma County Sheriff, Leon Wilmot, says migrants pose a threat to agriculture, a crucial industry in our area.
“If you have a bunch of individuals that are coming into the country and they’re littering, it’s an environmental impact, just for us in yuma county, but it’s also an impact on our agricultural farmers,” said Wilmot.
Lines says this is not only a threat to agriculture, but also our border security.
“We have been working to try to make sure that the administration turns back on the camera’s in this area, they’ve been turned off so it’s difficult for observation, although there are ground sensors, we would like for them to observe through the camera’s that have already been installed," said Lines.
Both Lines and the grove manager hope that with a security plan in place, and the wall torching tactic does not continue.