A surge of undocumented immigrants crossing the border was expected as the government stopped enforcement of restrictions on asylum seekers under Title 42.

That did not happen. Border crossing declined instead.

But now humanitarian groups that work to keep desert crossers survive say theyre starting to see a slight increase of people attempting those dangerous crossings.

It’s hot alright and this heat spell has lasted a long time but most of us really do have access to plenty of water an an easy shot at some air conditioning but it another thing if you are someone trying to cross from Mexico into Arizona through the open desert or if you are a member of a humanitarian group trying to help keep them alive.

Groups like Desert Samaritans and Humane Borders know the law allows them to do work like placing water in the desert to help desert crossers survive but the law does not allow them to help people enter the U-S and move deeper into the interior.

Immigrant aid groups say they saw a drop in the number of desert crossings right after the Federal government lifted Title 42 restrictions on asylum seekers about two months ago.

Gail Kocourek of Desert Samaritans thinks the heat is discouraging desert crossings now but her group is also seeing a small bump in the numbers of people who will try to crossnot a hundred at a time as they saw before Title 42 lifted, but maybe twenty or thirty in a group.

She says, There’s two different groups of people: the asylum seekers who want to be found and the migrants who don’t want to be found because they can’t ask for asylum, because they’re coming for financial reasons. And they’re coming to work in the fields.

Kocourek and Dora Rodriguez of Humane Borders say more people are risking desert crossings because rules the Biden Administration reinstated after Title 42 lifted, reduce the chance someone can enter the U-S and pursue an asylum claim if they turn themselves in at the border.

Rodriguez says more than 40 years ago, she was one of the people crossing the desert. Twelve people in her group died in the heat. She almost died too.

Now working to save lives, she says volunteers have plenty of water, and are keenly aware of the heat, but sometimes conditions catch up with them too.

I was in Sahuarita with Humane Borders about a week and a half ago delivering water and changing water tanks. And I start feeling nauseated. And I thought, Oh, this is not good, but you’re aware. You know what to do next, go to the shade, drink water.

But she says many migrants come from the tropics and do not understand what the desert can do.