This is the time of year when Border Patrol works to dissuade migrants from crossing the desert in the worst of the summer heat but now agents are expecting what may be the biggest surge ever.
The end of Title 42 enforcement is hanging over an annual event: the reminder of how dangerous it can be to cross the desert into the U.S.
As the summer heat flares up, CBP works to send the message throughout Latin America that trying to cross the desert to enter the U.S exposes migrants to deadly conditions and murderous smugglers.
CBP invited representatives of Mexico and Guatemala to help spread the word in Spanish.
This year the lifting of Title 42 near the end of the week adds a new concerna surge of demand from asylum seekers denied entry since three years ago. Thats when the Trump Administration invoked COVID related health regulations to make it easier to turn away asylum seekers and easier to deport people already in the U.S.
Sector Chief John Modlin says the Tucson Sector has generally had more single males trying to avoid arrest than asylum seekers who want to turn themselves in. But the number of asylum seekers is growing and may include entire families.
The smuggling organizations are pushing them into the most dangerous areas. So that area out there, especially the far Western side of Ajo, it can take hours for us to get vehicles out to those people. They may turn themselves in in groups of two or three hundred. 11:13:10 runs: 15
Rafael Barcelo is the Mexican Consul in Tucson. He says for six or seven years more people from countries South of Mexico have been requesting asylum in Mexicoand that numbers been rising since the Biden Administration plans to enforce rules that say migrants must ask for asylum in other countries on the way to the U.S. before they request asylum here.
Mexico has been receiving and Mexican communities have been receiving a lot of migrants and also people that are refugees or asylum seekers, and definitely that number has been increasing and has increased in the last year.
Chief Modlin says there have been so many earlier times it seemed like Title 42 would be lifted that Border Patrol has had time to prepare relationships with other agencies. Because of that he says Tucson Sector will be ready when Title 42 really does lift.