Migrants trekking through the desert despite excessively high temperatures - News 11's Arlette Yousif reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - High temperatures usually cause a decrease in activity at the U.S. - Mexico border. This year, the number of migrants making their way to our country is sky-rocketing.
The month of July has already set a new record and it's not over yet.
"1,800 individuals had entered and that added to a total that we already have. 8,000 for the month. Pretty significant considering we only had over 7,500 for the whole year of 2020," says Yuma Sector Border Patrol Special Operations Supervisor Vincent Dulesky.
Processing large groups of 50 or more at a time, like this past week, takes a lot of manpower.
"Resources that we would normally have somewhere else, where we could have a better enforcement posture for those who are trying to evade us," explains Agent Dulesky.
Migrants are so familiar with the process of entering the country that they simply walk across the border and either walk right up to patrol agents or sit down and wait for them to arrive.
"A majority of those over the weekend were crossing and basically turning themselves in. They would cross, they would look for an agent. An agent would come to them. They’d turn in their birth certificate and whatever documentation that identified them," says Agent Dulesky.
The most recent apprehensions included migrants from Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, and even Nicaragua.
"The cartels may not be actively recruiting in Mexico. When we see countries that are targeted or we see a lot of one country, it leads us to believe that those are the countries that are being recruited," explains Agent Dulesky.
Agents say while most migrants are not dangerous and usually travel in family units, some are unruly and still try to run away.
The Yuma sector is working to hire more agents to help with the influx of migrants at the border as apprehensions are stretching the agency thin.