Fewer than 100 migrant families in custody in Yuma facilities

Arizona

YUMA, Arizona (CNN/KYMA) — Fewer than 100 families are in federal custody inside Border Patrol facilities in the Yuma Sector, officials announced this week.

It’s the same sector where border agents apprehended 68,000 migrants this fiscal year, including up to 450 family units every day in May.

But the number of apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico has dropped drastically in recent weeks.

“When at one point we had over 16,000 illegal aliens in custody,” Bordee Patrol Agent Jose Garibay said.

The Yuma Sector has three migrants detention facilties, including the recently built soft-sided facility, which is currently holding about 30 migrant children.

Officials with the Trump administration credits an aggressive crackdown by the Mexican government on migrants traveling north. With fewer migrants, border agents have been able to return to their primary assignmetns.

“We were allowed to send a lot of those people back to their home locations, that way they can perform their mission,” Garibay said.

Garibay says 96 percent of those crossing are Central Americans, with only 4 percent from Mexico. But the number of Mexican migrants is also increasing with people fleeing violence in central Mexico.

“Some days were catching zero people in a shift, 6 people in the next shift,” Garibay said.

The mayor of San Luis, Arizona, whose community had also been housing some immigrants said both the church and the dance hall of Comite de Bien Estar are empty.

“This is usually a transfer point for them that, once released, they head to San Diego, Phoenix, or Los Angeles,” Garibay said.

Border Patrol offcials, however, continue to call the situaion a crisis.

“We’re still catching more than in the past, even though it’s lower than what we had been catching over the last couple months,” Garibay said.

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