YUMA, Ariz. — U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 11 Iranian citizens after they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona Monday evening.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents encountered the group near San Luis – a city in the southwest corner of Arizona – around 6 p.m. near County 21st Street and the Salinity Canal.
During the investigation, agents determined the group had entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico. As a result, the group was arrested and taken into custody. The CBP said the group consisted of five females and six males, all from Iran.
The CBP said Yuma Sector agents regularly encounter people from all over the world crossing the border illegally, including people from “Special Interest Countries.”
In the last few years, Border Patrol agents at the Yuma Sector have apprehended more illegal crossers from Iran than all other Border Patrol sectors combined. Since October, Yuma Sector agents have apprehended 14 Iranian nationals.
Enforcement efforts in California and Texas over the years have pushed migrants into treacherous terrain in Arizona, Fox News reported.
Immigration scholars say they expect a wave of people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to try to cross the U.S.-Mexico border this year following a pair of disastrous hurricanes in Central America.
A dozen Mexican state police officers were arrested for killing 19 people, including Guatemalan migrants, whose bodies were found shot and burned near the U.S. border late in January, Mexican authorities announced Tuesday. Tamaulipas state Attorney General Irving Barrios Mojica said all 12 officers were in custody and face charges of homicide, abuse of authority and making false statements, Law Officer reported.
Andrew Selee, president of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, warned that sudden policy changes could encourage would-be border-crossers to flood north as President Biden has taken a vastly different approach than former President Trump.