December 6, 2023

Migrants wait days in desert as Tucson Sector numbers increase

As the Tucson Sector continues to be the busiest region on the U.S.-Mexico border, officials must prioritize processing families and children while hundreds of single men wait for days after climbing through cuts in the border wall.

Lukeville migrants 1 Border Patrol process hundreds of migrants on Dec. 5, 2023. Many are from African countries — Senegal, Guinea and Mauritania — and a smaller number are from India and Central and South America. Many say they came through a cut in the border wall.
Danyelle Khmara

Migrants continue to cross the border in record numbers in the desert near Lukeville, Arizona, mostly through border-wall breaches made by criminal organizations.

The area has become the busiest place on the U.S.-Mexico border for unauthorized crossings and only seems to be increasing.

Early Tuesday about 1,000 migrants waited to be processed by Border Patrol. Families with children were processed first, and hundreds of men, from Africa, India and Latin America still wait — some for two or three days — for their turn, sleeping where they stand around small fires to get through the chilly nights.

76-year-old Manuel Marin from Ecuador has been waiting since Sunday, when he crawled through a cut in the border with a large group of people.

Marin says that last night he suffered. He spent two nights in the cold, but the truth is he thanks God, that he gives him health and life to be here and not go back to his country. He is alone.

Like many people here he says he left his country because of increased crime and poor economic conditions. He hopes to make it to Maryland, where his six children and many grandchildren live.

The Tucson Sector, which encompasses the Lukeville area and another busy place for unauthorized crossings near Sasabe, processed about 17,500 migrants in one recent week. And Border officials recently closed down the Lukeville border crossing in order to move personnel to help with processing migrants.

MORE: Border, News
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