81 Illegals Arrested Crossing U.S-Mexico Border in Southern Arizona

81 illegal immigrants were arrested and processed by Border Patrol outside of Sasabe, Arizona on Tuesday.

The group is possibly one of the biggest to enter the United States in several months. Crossings of large “caravan” groups of illegal immigrants have declined in recent months, in great part due to ‘safe third-country’ deals orchestrated by the Trump administration between the United States and Mexico. The United States also recently enacted a deal with El Salvador that would keep asylum seekers in their home countries.

Customs and Border Patrol released drone surveillance footage of the group crossing into the country. According to the agency, more than 33 man-hours were spent detaining and transporting the group, precious time that could’ve been used to patrol for smaller groups of illegal immigrants.

Sasabe is a small town immediately west of the border city of Nogales, in rural Pima County, Arizona.

CBP sources described the group of migrants as composed of family units and children. Large groups of illegal immigrants are known to utilize minors in order to bolster their asylum claims.

Family units have to be released from immigration detention within weeks due the Reno v. Flores court ruling. The Trump administration was said to be looking to revise the guidelines that create a loophole in which minors are being utilized to game the immigration system, but a plan to change the rules has since stalled.

Generally, migrants that arrive in family units have a strong chance to stay in the United States. Human traffickers have been known to falsely pose as minors’ relatives in order to game the system.

Border security advocates will hope the crossing of a large group won’t result in a mass arrival of illegal immigrants similar to what was seen in 2018.