EXCLUSIVE: Arizona Sector Migrant Surge Forces Border Patrol to Cancel Field Patrols

Tucson Sector Surge (File Photos: Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas)
File Photos: Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas

According to a source within Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector have been exclusively relegated to processing and caring for the wave of migrants crossing into the sector in recent days. Facing overcrowding at migrant processing facilities in the sector, the source says most non-essential details have been eliminated to re-direct all Border Patrol agents to the task of accommodating the overwhelming number of migrants in custody.

On Sunday afternoon, Border Patrol Chief John R. Modlin posted a message on X (formerly twitter) informing followers that all social media postings would be paused for an indeterminate period. The post provided no explanation for the social media pause, only stating “In light of the ongoing migration surge, all Tucson Sector Border Patrol social media accounts will be paused until further notice. We appreciate your understanding and continued support during this challenging time. Honor First.

The source says Border Patrol agents who are detailed away from the field to perform administrative duties, such as public affairs and community outreach duties, have been re-directed to focus on migrant transport and processing tasks. As reported by Breitbart Texas, the sector recorded nearly 58,000 migrant apprehensions in 28 days. In the last week, Modlin informed social media followers of more than 15,000 migrant arrests, a pace of more than 2,000 per day.

According to the source, more than 5,000 migrants are being detained at facilities within the Tucson Border Patrol sector with hundreds of others staged at field rally points awaiting transport to area processing centers.

The migrant surge near Lukeville, Arizona, involves migrants from across the globe crossing in single migrant group sizes of more than 500 in recent days. The migrant groups consist of nationals from Pakistan, Iran, the People’s Republic of China, and a host of North African nations. The source says interviewing the migrants who do not speak Spanish or English slowed the process down and is contributing to the backlog of detainees in the sector.

Breitbart Texas visited the sector in September and observed the large migrant groups crossing into the Organ Pipe National Monument area by the hundreds. The groups marched from the border fence to a rally point more than a mile away to surrender to awaiting Border Patrol agents. The migrants then await transport to nearby facilities for processing. Most of those surrendering to the Border Patrol are ultimately released to pursue asylum claims in the United States, reports reveal.

The sector has reduced or eliminated field patrols and closed checkpoints at other times when migrant crossings surge. In September, when migrant apprehensions exceeded 50,000, Breitbart Texas noted several highway inspection checkpoints shuttered as agents were also redirected to assist with migrant care and processing duties.

The Tucson Border Patrol Sector is currently the busiest along the southwest border for migrant apprehensions. In fiscal year 2023, agents within the sector apprehended 373,625, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports.

The source says the cancellation of field patrols and checkpoint operations is a national security risk. “We have no idea how many migrants who have criminal records or intend to harm American citizens are going to escape across the border while we focus on processing,” the source stated. “The cartels will definitely take advantage of the opportunity to move narcotics across the border or on our open highways.”

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.


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