2023 has been a historic year in illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border. Many impacts of those crossings and overall border activity manifested just an hour south of Tucson in Nogales, Ariz.

Leading up to the end of Title 42 in May, Santa Cruz County officials braced for an increase in border crossers.

Weve reached out to local hotels and have secured 80 beds. Were also trying to find transportation,” Supervisor Manny Ruiz said on May 10.

But after Title 42a COVID-related health policyexpired, legal border travel continued as normal, with crossings then decreasing over the summer.

But in Nogales, U.S. Senators James Lankford from Oklahoma and Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona visited to meet with local officials.

A few months later the challenges expected right after Title 42 eventually came.

Tucson Sector apprehensions began to increase again in September and street releases began in Nogales.

CBP also re-positioned port officials to help border patrol, right when the Morley pedestrian gate went under construction.

That left businesses counting less money in their cash registers.

We have to get crafty and figure out where to do business. If we have to move our location to another town, or close certain days of the week,” Gregory Kory, the owner of La Cinderella said in September.

The Nogales mayor Jorge Maldonado also questioned how D.C. was handling the ongoing border crisis.

Washington made the move and told customs to shut gates for legal crossers in cars and pedestrians to go and help border patrol,” he said in September. “Now were hurting our economy.

The year ended with a visit from senate candidate Kari Lake, as she continued to push for stricter border policies and blame Democrats for the ongoing issues.

Were seeing people come from over 160, 170 countries. We dont have the capacity to take on the worlds problems,” Lake said in November at the wall in Nogales.

With street releases continuing, migrants say they’re coming to the U.S. for a better life.

This is what I ask the most of God, I want to make a better life for my children,” Javier Gonzalez from Mexico said.

Border Patrol sector chief John Modlin said in November the street releases would continue as long as numbers were high.

“It all depends on our facilities and where we are at,” Modlin said.

There’s no end in sight for the street releases four months later, as the week before Christmas 19,400 migrants were apprehended in the Tucson Sector.