U.S.-Mexico Border continues to experience surge in illegal crossings by migrants

Since the start of September, the number of migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has continued to escalate, and one of the busiest spots is in Arizona.

According to Border Patrol agents, about 300 people crossed the border just west of the Lukeville Port of Entry on the morning of Sept. 19 alone. They set up a makeshift tent to provide relief from the heat, medical attention, and water until more reinforcements can arrive.

During the afternoon hours, group after group of migrants crossed the border illegally. Many of them say they came from Africa, India, and Ecuador, wanting to be reunited with family who already crossed months earlier. The migrants say they are fleeing violence in their home countries.

Border Patrol agents say the groups have been cutting holes in the border wall, and crews were busy welding them back shut on Sept. 19.

Migrants speak out

We spoke with some of the migrants who illegally crossed into Arizona.

One of the migrants, identified only as ‘Paul,’ said he is fleeing violence in his home country, and he is trying to get to his wife in New York.

Paul's wife reportedly crossed the border a month prior.

For Paul, it took him more than six weeks to walk, and along the way, he was met by gangs who robbed him. He said he is feeling relief when he saw the massive steel border wall, as that is a sign that he has made it.

Another migrant, Israel Sanchez, said he has been walking for 25 days with his wife and son. They are from Ecuador, and their goal is to get to Denver.

Lukeville has seen many migrant crossings

According to the Border Patrol chief for the Tucson Sector, John Modlin, he had 13,000 apprehensions last week alone in the Lukeville area. Border Patrol agents in Lukeville say groups have been cutting holes in the wall, while crews are busy welding them back up.

Across the entire southwest, some sources tell us there were more than 20,000, from Friday to Sunday.

The surge in migrants, according to sources, is due to false advertising by the Cartels, who are telling migrants that it is easier to cross in Arizona, and get released into the U.S.

Those numbers are overwhelming border detention facilities, forcing agents to release them onto the streets.

"Over the last couple of months, we have seen a significant increase in unlawful entries here in the Tucson Sector," said Justin Delatorre. "We have surged additional resources to meet that demand, brought in additional buses. We brought in additional folks from other law enforcement agencies to help support."

In Cochise County, Sheriff Mark Dannels has said they’ve had 400 street releases since last week.

"We're a rural county, lacking essential resources for people like this that need those logistical resources," said Sheriff Dannels, in a story we aired on Sept. 15. "We have citizens stepping up. We have churches stepping up. We have a lot of people stepping up trying to make this better, along with law enforcement. Our mayor's doing everything we can."

Meanwhile, White House officials are reiterating that the border is not open. Meanwhile, many who live along the U.S.-Mexico Border in Rizona say they are worried things will get worse.