/ Modified apr 15, 2024 3:25 p.m.

New data shows families continue crossing the border in large numbers in the Tucson Sector

Tucson Sector continues to have the highest number of migrants crossing, and by far the highest number of families and children, even as the total number of migrant apprehensions at the southern border dropped slightly from the previous month.

Casa Alitas children VIEW LARGER Two young children do arts and crafts at a shelter that's part of the Casa Alitas program on March 1, 2024.
Danyelle Khmara

Border Patrol in the Tucson Sector encountered nearly 42,000 migrants crossing the border in March, more than half of which were families and children.

Sector chief John Modlin says the characteristic of border crossers in the region has changed from a majority of single men, who mostly tried to avoid Border Patrol detection, to large groups of families turning themselves in and a large increase in unaccompanied children.

“With these numbers that are 10 times what they were a few years ago, we will not be able to rescue everyone out there,” he said at the end of March. “There's no question in my mind, if this flow continues and we get the typical Arizona 118, 120 degrees down there and if the smuggling organizations are still pushing these people through the most remote areas, hundreds at a time, there's just no way to get to them fast enough.”

The nearly 22,000 family members and children encountered in the Tucson Sector in March is more than twice as many as any other sector on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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