Illegal border crossings increased by 33% in July 2023, with Border Patrol agents apprehending over 130,000 migrants who entered unlawfully through ports of entry, according to government statistics published earlier this week.
According to July statistics, Border Patrol agents apprehended 132,652 migrants in the nine southwest border sectors.
CBS reports that the sharpest increase of illegal crossings took place at the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector in Arizona, which covers parts of the Sonoran Desert and a lot of Arizona’s border with Mexico.
The Tucson area registered 39,215 arrests, according to The Associated Press.
An official told CBS that the Tucson sector is “particularly challenging,” citing that human smuggling is a major issue there.
“We have seen the human smugglers’ attempts to direct migrants toward that, and advertising to people that it is somehow an area that they can expect greater success crossing into the country,” the official told the outlet. “That is not true.”
Border Patrol reportedly processed over 10,000 unaccompanied minors, which is almost a 50% increase from June.
“We remain vigilant and continue to adjust our operational plans to maximize enforcement efforts against those individuals who do not use lawful pathways or processes, knowing that smugglers continue to use disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals,” Troy Miller, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said according to the AP.