U.S. border officials are closing a remote Arizona crossing because of overwhelming migrant arrivals

u.s. border officials are closing a remote arizona crossing because of overwhelming migrant arrivals

PHOENIX — So many migrants are crossing from Mexico into the United States around remote Lukeville, Arizona, that U.S. officials say they will close the port of entry there so that the operations officials who watch over vehicle and pedestrian traffic going both ways can help Border Patrol agents arrest and process the new arrivals.

Customs and Border Protection announced Friday that the temporary closure of the crossing will start Monday as officials grapple with changing migration routes that have overwhelmed Border Patrol agents stationed there. Arizona’s U.S. senators and governor called planned closure “unacceptable.”

Customs and Border Protection said it is “surging all available resources to expeditiously and safely process migrants” and will “continue to prioritize our border security mission as necessary in response to this evolving situation.”

The area around the desert crossing has become a major migration route in recent months, with smugglers dropping off people from countries as diverse as Senegal, India and China. Most of them are walking into the U.S. west of Lukeville through gaps in the wall, then head east toward the official border crossing to surrender to the first agents they see in hopes for a chance at asylum.

The Border Patrol made 17,500 arrests for illegal crossings during the past week in the agency’s Tucson sector, John Modlin, the sector chief, said Friday, That translates to a daily average of 2,500, well above its daily average of 1,700 in September, when Tucson was already the busiest corridor for illegal crossings by far along U.S.-Mexico border.

Customs and Border Protection blamed the hundreds of people arriving daily around Lukeville on “smugglers peddling disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals.”

It was unclear how long the crossing would be shut.

Although it is remote, the Lukeville border crossing is the one regularly used to travel from Arizona to Puerto Peñasco, or Rocky Point, a resort area in the Mexican state of Sonora on the Sea of Cortez. Americans also drive through the crossing to visit the border community of Sonoyta for a meal, shop or to get less expensive dental and medical care.

Some Mexican children ride a northbound bus across the border every day to go to school.

Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, along with Gov. Katie Hobbs, blasted the planned closure and demanded better solutions from President Joe Biden’s administration.

“This is an an unacceptable outcome that further destabilizes our border, risks the safety of our communities, and damages our economy by disrupting trade and tourism,” they said in a joint statement. “The Federal Government must act swiftly to maintain port of entry operations, get the border under control, keep Arizona communities safe, and ensure the humane treatment of migrants.”

Kelly and Hobbs, both Democrats, and Sinema, an independent who was elected as a Democrat, also criticized “partisan politicians who parrot talking points while watching the border further deteriorate.”

They said those politicians should instead ”reject the echo chamber and work with us to get something done and keep our communities safe.”

An average of 3,140 people in vehicles and 184 pedestrians entered the U.S. daily in Lukeville during October, according to the U.S. Transportation Department’s latest figures.

Travelers will still be able to cross into or out of the United States through Nogales, Arizona, a three-hour drive to the east, or San Luis, Arizona, a two-hour drive to the west.

Customs and Border Protection earlier this week began limiting traffic at the Lukeville port. The agency on Monday also closed one of two bridges to vehicles in Eagle Pass, Texas, a town of about 30,000 people that, for a while last year, was the busiest corridor for illegal crossings.

The Associated Press

News Related

OTHER NEWS

How Formula One accidentally helped Las Vegas workers land the 'best contract ever'

When Formula One came to Las Vegas, it brought a level of glitz and glamor rivaled only by Monaco. It also seems to have inadvertently empowered tens of thousands of ... Read more »

‘They just threw him away’: Another Jackson, Mississippi, man was buried without his family’s knowledge

JACKSON, Miss. — Marquita Moore was lying on her sofa at home on the night of Oct. 10 when she got a text from her aunt. It was a link to ... Read more »

Pilot killed in fiery plane crash in shopping center parking lot in Plano, Texas

A pilot was killed after a small plane crashed into a shopping center parking lot at a Texas shopping center on Tuesday, authorities said. Police in Plano, 20 miles north ... Read more »

Michigan police make arrest in the disappearance of a woman missing since 2021

More than two years after she vanished, Michigan police have arrested someone in the murder of 52-year-old Dee Ann Warner. The Michigan State Police First District announced the arrest Tuesday ... Read more »

Woman involved in death of 5-year-old boy found in suitcase is sentenced to 25 years

SALEM, Ind. — A Louisiana woman was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison for her involvement in the death of a 5-year-old Atlanta boy whose body was found last year in ... Read more »

4 teens charged with killing Las Vegas high schooler will be prosecuted as adults, court records show

Four teenagers who face second-degree murder charges will be prosecuted as adults after the fatal mob-style beating this month of a 17-year-old Las Vegas boy, court records show. The teens ... Read more »

Patrol dog's biting unarmed woman for 62 seconds was excessive force, judges rule, but officer is protected by qualified immunity

A panel of federal judges ruled Tuesday that a Texas police officer used excessive force when his patrol dog bit an unarmed woman for roughly one minute, but it said ... Read more »
Top List in the World