/ Modified sep 4, 2014 9:52 a.m.

Arrests of Unaccompanied Minors in Southern AZ Border Continue to Drop

Still, more than 900 child migrants apprehended in July, August in Border Patrol’s Tucson sector.

unaccompaniedminorsFernandaphoto-spotlight Immigrant children at Border Patrol's Nogales warehouse where they were processed and detained in June 2014.
Fernanda Echavarri, AZPM

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The number of unaccompanied minors apprehended in the Tucson sector of the Border Patrol continues to drop. Still, 920 children were arrested in the last two months, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

From Oct. 1 to Aug. 31, Border Patrol has arrested 7,867 children and teens who were crossing into the U.S. illegally in Southern Arizona. That’s down 7 percent from the same time period last fiscal year.

Most of those arrests happened before July, with the largest numbers seen in June, when agents were arresting about 2,000 young migrants along the Southwest border each week.

The spike of unaccompanied minors has happened in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where in the first 10 months of this fiscal year, 48,475 kids were apprehended, compared to 19,000 the previous year, CBP data showed.

Nationwide since last October, Border Patrol agents have apprehended 66,127 underage migrants crossing the border alone, nearly twice the number of children. Last year's number was 35,209.

Where Tucson’s sector of Border Patrol -- which covers 262 miles from New Mexico to Yuma -- has seen an increase is in what the agency calls family units: a woman and her children.

From Oct. 1 to Aug. 31 agents in the Tucson sector have apprehended 3,668 family units, 51 percent more than the same time last year. About 550 crossed in the last two months, CBP numbers showed.

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