ARIZONA NEWS

Border Patrol, prosecutors surge resources for enforcement efforts in southern Arizona

Nov 27, 2023, 11:15 AM | Updated: 12:28 pm

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Border Patrol are increasing efforts to prosecute unlawful border ...

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Border Patrol are increasing efforts to prosecute unlawful border crossings in southern Arizona. (Facebook Photo/US Border Patrol, Tucson Sector)

(Facebook Photo/US Border Patrol, Tucson Sector)

PHOENIX – Federal officials say they are seeing results after surging resources to prosecute more cases involving illegal border crossings earlier this month.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona announced last week that 133 individuals were charged the previous week for illegal entry in the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector. That was up from 91 prosecutions the week before.

John Modlin, Tucson Sector chief patrol agent, said the Border Patrol and U.S. Attorney’s Office have a “strong working relationship” to address cross-border crime.

“Over the last few weeks, Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector have increased prosecution efforts by charging 133 individuals for illegal entry into the U.S. – a 240% increase from prior weeks. These prosecutions provide consequences for illegal entry and re-entry after removal along the border in southern Arizona,” Modlin said in a press release Wednesday.

The Tucson Sector covers most of Arizona’s border with Mexico, from the New Mexico state line to the Yuma County line.

How are prosecutors, Border Patrol surging resources in Arizona?

The Department of Homeland Security has detailed three lawyers to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to help handle more cases, U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino said in the release.

“Prosecution – and the deterrence it provides – is a key tool in securing the border. … While prosecution alone won’t comprehensively solve border issues, a surge in resources amplifies the diligence and hard work of our Border Patrol colleagues who are out there protecting our nation,” Restaino said.

Modlin also announced that the Tucson Sector staff will scale back on social media activity temporarily as part of the increased focus on border enforcement.

“At this time, all available personnel are needed to address the unprecedented flow. The social media team will return once the situation permits,” Modlin said in a Facebook post Sunday.

“We will continue to post our week in review statistics, demonstrating the continued efforts of our agents and staff.”

On Monday, Customs and Border Protection announced it was reducing vehicle processing at the Lukeville Port of Entry “in order to redirect personnel to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody.”

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Border Patrol, prosecutors surge resources for enforcement efforts in southern Arizona