Hundreds of Unaccompanied Migrant Children Found Near Border Left by Smugglers

Hundreds of migrants, including dozens of unaccompanied children, were recently discovered near the border in Arizona after they were left there by smugglers.

In a tweet, Sabri Y. Dikman, the acting chief patrol agent of the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, shared a photo of the migrants found and wrote, "A group of 125 migrants surrendered to #ThreePoints Station agents near San Miguel, Arizona."

"Nearly three-quarters were unaccompanied children," the tweet continued. "Large groups of mostly children continue to be exploited by smugglers who leave them at the border for agents to encounter."

A group of 125 migrants surrendered to #ThreePoints Station agents near San Miguel, Arizona. Nearly three quarters were unaccompanied children. Large groups of mostly children continue to be exploited by smugglers who leave them at the border for agents to encounter. pic.twitter.com/mgIGASfaUU

— Sabri Y. Dikman (@USBPChiefTCA) October 11, 2021

The picture shows the hundreds of migrants that were found near the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona with their faces blurred out in the photo for privacy reasons.

This is not the first time a large group of migrants has been stopped at the border near San Miguel.

On April 7, Dikman posted a similar tweet showing a group of migrants that were apprehended at the border and said, "#BorderPatrol agents encountered over 130 illegal aliens that surrendered near San Miguel, #AZ."

The tweet continued, "The group consisted of citizens from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Masks were provided and the group was transported to Tucson for processing."

In July, 197 undocumented immigrants, including 147 unaccompanied minors, were also apprehended in San Miguel. CBP agents said at the time that most of the immigrants were from Guatemala.

#BorderPatrol agents encountered over 130 illegal aliens that surrendered near San Miguel, #AZ. The group consisted of citizens from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Masks were provided and the group was transported to #Tucson for processing. @CBP pic.twitter.com/0zb4k4MTD0

— Sabri Y. Dikman (@USBPChiefTCA) April 7, 2021

These incidents in Arizona came amid a continued increase in the number of migrants traveling to the U.S. over the past year.

According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), from October 2020 to August 2021, border officials have encountered over 1.5 million migrants at the Southwest land border of the U.S. In comparison, from October 2019 to September 2020, CBP officials encountered over 458,000 migrants.

Data from CBP also shows that there has been an increase in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border into the U.S. According to the data, from October 2020 to August 2021, over 133,000 unaccompanied minors have been encountered at the border, while less than 40,000 unaccompanied minors were encountered from October 2019 to September 2020.

In August, David Shahoulian, assistant secretary for border and immigration policy at the Department of Homeland Security, said that during the first 29 days of July, an average of 6,779 people were encountered per day, including 616 unaccompanied minors.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was canceling several border wall contracts that were in place during former President Donald Trump's administration. According to a statement issued by DHS, the border wall contracts in the Laredo and Rio Grande Sectors were being canceled.

Newsweek reached out to CBP for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

U.S.-Mexico Border
Dozens of unaccompanied migrant children were recently apprehended near the border in Arizona. Above, the area where the encampment of about 15,000 Haitians stood just days before can be seen empty under the Del Rio Port of Entry, which reopened after being closed for more than a week in Del Rio, Texas on September 25, 2021. Paul Ratje/Getty