YUMA, AZ — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of Arizona says it has apprehended nearly 1,000 migrants in the past three days at the Yuma Sector of the U.S./Mexico border. The migrants are believed to be from Central America, according to CBP.
A video tweet posted on CBP's Twitter page appears to show a group of migrants crossing a bridge with CBP vehicles patrolling closely behind.
"Yuma Sector has experienced a significant rise in the number of family units arrested throughout the sector," CBP said in a press release on the agency's website. "U.S. Border Patrol processing centers are not designed to house the current numbers of families and small children that we are encountering."
Due to the increasing number of migrants entering the U.S. at the Yuma Sector and limited space for them in processing centers, Border Patrol has begun to "identify detainees for potential release in Yuma with a notice to appear for their immigration hearings."
"For the first time in over a decade, CBP is performing direct releases of migrants when ICE is unable to provide bed space to relieve overcrowding. We're going to be doing this on a risk basis," CBP's Commissioner, Kevin K. McAleenan, said during a press conference on March 27.
States along the U.S./Mexico border have seen a significant increase in the number of migrants attempting to enter the United States, with CBP officials saying the U.S. immigration system has reached a "breaking point" in recent months.
"CBP is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest border," McAleenan said. "On Monday [March 25], we saw the highest total of apprehensions and encounters in over a decade, with 4,000 migrants either apprehended or encountered at Ports of Entry in a single day. Yesterday [March 26], we broke the record again with 4,117."
According to McAleenan, a high number of apprehensions is 4,000.
"Crisis level is 6,000.13,000 is unprecedented," he said.