COLORADO RIVER, Ariz. — In the scorching heat, against the backdrop of a vehicle barrier separating the United States from Mexico, officials from federal agencies in both countries came together to explain the dangers of crossing their shared border.
Representatives from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Mexican Consulate in Yuma and Mexico’s C5 surveillance force spoke at an annual event on Thursday afternoon near Yuma with the goal of dissuading unauthorized crossings from Mexico to the United States.
The majority of migrants that U.S. officials encounter at the border continue to be immediately expelled to Mexico or their home countries under a pandemic public health rule known as Title 42, which critics say is rooted more in enforcement than public health.
But the policy hasn’t deterred migrants from attempting to cross into the United States, including rough and desolate areas in Yuma County like the Barry M. Goldwater Range and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge …
Earlier this year, Biden strengthened the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which protects about 800,000 migrants brought to the United States without authorization as children.
But migrant deaths at the U.S.-Mexico border remain high; 2020 was one of the deadliest years on record for recoveries of human remains along the Arizona border.
Crossing the border has become more dangerous compared with previous years, according to an April report published by the University of Arizona’s Binational Migration Institute.
Migrant deaths have remained high even though apprehensions at the border have declined, the report found.
Yuma agents have rescued 313 migrants trying to cross the border during the fiscal year 2021, a 170% increase from last year, Clem said.
More than 2,000 migrants crossed the Yuma border during the Fourth of July weekend, according to the Yuma Sun. The largest group apprehended comprised 156 migrants.
Clem said the Yuma sector has found that migrants who have crossed this summer hail from 65 different countries.
The point of heightened border enforcement is to deter migrants from crossing the border, he said … Click here to read more.