As Arizona Looks to Defund Border Security, Cartels Move Smuggling Efforts West


 Arizona Sun Times

And as several factors, including Texas expanding border security efforts, are resulting in illegal border crossings increasing further west, law enforcement officials say Arizona can expect greater numbers.

Arizona's 378 miles of shared border with Mexico is patrolled by agents in two CBP sectors of Tucson and Yuma. Last month, agents in both sectors combined apprehended 36,296 foreign nationals, up from 33,193 in January.

They also reported 19,698 gotaways last month, up from 13,968 in January, according to preliminary data obtained by The Center Square from a Border Patrol agent. The agent provided the information on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. It only includes Border Patrol data and excludes Office of Field Operations data.

This is up from January, when they apprehended 21,300 foreign nationals and reported 13,257 gotaways.

It’s also up from a year ago, according to preliminary data previously reported by The Center Square. In February 2022, Tucson Sector agents apprehended 22,295 foreign nationals and reported 16,488 gotaways. In January 2022, they apprehended 18,461 foreign nationals and reported 13,250 gotaways, according to the data.

By contrast, Yuma Sector’s numbers overall were down. Last month, agents apprehended 10,295 foreign nationals and reported 1,095 gotaways, according to the data; down from January’s 11,893 apprehensions but up from January’s 711 reported gotaways.

In February 2022, Yuma Sector reported 22,893 apprehensions and 3,134 gotaways; in January 2022, 25,070 apprehensions and 2,516 gotaways, according to the data.

Overall in fiscal 2022, nearly 816,000 foreign nationals were apprehended or evaded law enforcement after illegally entering Arizona, according to Border Patrol data obtained by The Center Square.