Apprehensions along the border continue to soar - 13 On Your Side's Arlette Yousif reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Undocumented immigrants are trying to enter the U.S. in any way possible. Some are trekking across the desert for days, hiding in small compartments, and even jumping in the water.
Early Wednesday morning, Border Patrol agents rescued a Honduran national who they say attempted to swim across the Salinity Canal.
A man is seen on surveillance slowly sliding into the canal. He swam across the body of water, but a current quickly hit him before he made it to the other side. Agents arrived to deploy a water rescue bag. After a medical evaluation, it was determined that the man did not suffer any serious injuries. This is just one of many ways undocumented immigrants try to enter the U.S.
"Crossing and trying to evade us, coming up with some pretty interesting techniques, getting into the salt cedars, and covering themselves up with needles. Doing a pretty good job of camouflaging themselves. We also had a group that buried themselves in the sand," says Yuma Sector Border Patrol Supervisor Vincent Dulesky.
Even with some migrants trying to sneak in undetected, over 3,000 undocumented immigrants were apprehended over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Twenty-one unaccompanied minors were also found in a 24-hour period.
"Once we get them in our custody, they are then turned over to Health and Human Services (HHS)," explains Dulesky.
But the undocumented immigrants who are being temporarily housed in hotels are there for three days to a week, depending on how quickly U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can process them after border patrol releases them. Although it's a source of revenue for the county, many are not happy about it.
"Complaints during this last few months because there weren’t enough hotels for the military and for the agriculture people that were coming to be in the community. So, it’s been a little bit of a strain," says District 2 Yuma County Board Member Jonathan Lines.
Lines says that approximately 200 members of the National Guard recently had to stay in a conference room until hotel space became available.