Border safety and apprehensions

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Apprehensions are on the increase along the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector in the Southern region of the state. We welcome Special Operations Supervisor, Robert Bushell, to speak about that, along with the recent spike in temperatures and how that affects border safety.

The Tucson sector runs from the Arizona, New Mexico state line and out to the West toward the Yuma county line.

As the Arizona summer heat starts to rise, a main concern on the border is the health hazards that brings to those crossing the border. Being in the middle of the desert, with no water and in harsh terrain, is the reality that many migrants face while trying to illegally enter the United States.

Bushell mentions that the number of apprehensions in the Tucson sector is high. Since the fiscal year began, they have had over 100,000 encounters. The sector has been seeing more single adults crossing than families or children. 85% of their encounters are single adults. Bushell says that they are the ones that do not want to be apprehended, in comparison to families who are hoping to find Border Patrol as soon as they cross. Due to this, they are more likely to wear camouflage, head to toe, and walk deeper into the desert to avoid apprehension.

This fiscal year, they have encountered more unaccompanied children than ever. However, that number is at below 10% of their total encounters. He mentions that even though it is only 10%, this continues to be a great challenge for them as children need special care. This puts a strain on their resources.

With new leadership in the White House, Bushell says, “The perception of some of these migrants may be that things have changed, but the laws haven’t changed and we’re still tasked with enforcing those existing laws.”


Robert Bushell, Special Operations Supervisor, Tucson Sector Strategic Operations U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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