Despite the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration, the number of illegals crossing the border into the U.S. is still climbing. Parents are still taking the risk and bringing their children to a country that has been separating families – according to the left, of course. In fact, the number of families crossing illegally has grown exponentially.
The Associated Press reported on this growth, saying:
The Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector has seen a more than 120 percent spike in the number of families and unaccompanied children caught at the border over the last year, surprising many in an area that had been largely quiet and calm for the past decade.
Yuma, Arizona has become the second largest area for illegal crossings. Despite the oppressive heat at this time of the year, they are still risking life and limb to get to the United States. It is also not the usual place to cross. Drug smugglers use the desert to cross illegally while families tend to walk or swim across the Rio Grande Valley and River into Texas.
Border Patrol spokesman Jose Garibay said how immigrants migrate is “largely controlled by the cartels that smuggle people across.” Currently, Tamaulipas, Mexico, which borders the Rio Grande, has been besieged by “extreme violence” by the drug cartels who are “fighting for every inch of control of the river” where most of the crossing takes place into Texas. This is likely one of the reasons so many have chosen to cross into Yuma instead.
Another reason could be that most of the border crossers into Yuma are Guatemalans, Randy Capps of the Migration Policy Institute said. Crossing through Yuma may simply be the safest way to get to the U.S.
The Yuma area used to be a popular crossing location years ago, but advanced technology, more patrol agents and new fencing drastically cut illegal crossings, so it was a surprise to have such a sudden surge.
“It’s really been a combined effort across the whole agency to be able to turn this sector into something that is manageable and not somewhere there was 138,000 apprehensions back in 2005,” Garibay said.
But even with all of the improvements, the tidal wave of illegal immigrants continues to swell. Just seven years ago, border patrol agents arrested 98 families and 222 unaccompanied children. Those numbers have drastically climbed to nearly 10,000 families and 4,500 unaccompanied children during this fiscal year alone.
Why are so many immigrants ignoring the “zero tolerance” policy and risking everything to get to the United States? Many are migrating to California, a known sanctuary state, where they feel they will be welcomed with open arms and given food, clothing, housing, and jobs. Yuma is an agricultural area, which supplies 90% of the nation’s leafy greens, dates, and lettuce, and relies heavily on immigrant labor. These two areas offer illegals an opportunity that just may be too good to pass up.