Video shows migrant smugglers push adults, kids through border wall holes
PHOENIX — Two Customs and Border Protection videos released Tuesday show the dangers migrants face when crossing from Mexico into the U.S.
In a video from Dec. 18, migrant smugglers push adults and children through a hole beneath a border wall near Yuma as sirens wail and border agents tell them to turn back.
“Don’t do that! Look at the child!” the agent yells as the migrants climb past a large coil of razor wire.
In the second video from Dec. 22, smugglers try to help adults and children get through a hole in the border fence that passes through a water-filled channel.
According to text included with the video, Mexican agents were able to stop the smuggling attempt in this instance, while one woman who did manage to get across surrendered to U.S. agents.
The videos have come to light amid a surge of migrant families arriving at the border, overwhelming processing and holding centers.
A record number of families crossed into the U.S. in recent months, resulting in the expansion of what President Donald Trump calls “catch and release” – freeing people the system simply can’t deal with.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday that from Dec. 21 through Monday, the agency released 22,000 migrants into Arizona.
Based on ICE’s last estimate, 3,500 migrants were released in just 11 days.
The number of migrants has largely overwhelmed Valley churches and nonprofits that have been working to provide the migrants with resources and help them make travel plans to connect with sponsor families.
Arizona officials, including U.S. Sen. Martha McSally and Gov. Doug Ducey, have called on the federal government to communicate better with the state about the drop-offs.
Trump last week threatened to seal the border if Mexico did not immediately halt all illegal immigration into the U.S.
The president eased up on the threat Tuesday as officials across his administration explored half-measures that might satisfy his urge for action, like stopping only foot traffic at certain crossings.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Martha Maurer and the Associated Press contributed to this report.