Border Patrol Agents Rescue Migrants From Scorching Summer Heat

Border Patrol Agents Rescue Migrants From Scorching Summer Heat

By Daniel Stefanski |

Proving yet again how dangerous the American southern border is for the migrants making the journey, members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations UH-60 aircrew made two separate rescues of groups of individuals this past weekend.

Earlier this week, CBP announced that five illegal aliens had been rescued in the Peloncillo Mountain range in the Tucson Border Sector on Friday and Saturday. This range is near the Arizona-New Mexico border. On Friday, three migrants were evacuated from the range after they had suffered from heat exhaustion. The responding aircrew was initially flagged by Douglas Station Horse Patrol Agents. On Sunday, two additional individuals were rescued by the aircrew, and the Douglas Horse Patrol Unit assisted seven other migrants to safety.

“Our aircrews are trained and capable of rapidly shifting from operational missions to humanitarian roles,” stated Jessie Scruggs, Director of Air and Marine Operations, Tucson Air Branch. “These two incidents represent what our aircrews are called to assist agents on the ground who encounter the growing number of migrants who become distressed by the unrelentless conditions they are placed in by callous smugglers.”

According to the press release from CBP, enforcement actions from CBP’s Air and Marine Operations during Fiscal Year 2023 “resulted in 1,004 arrests and 89,909 apprehensions of undocumented individuals, as well as the seizure or disruption of 256,883 pounds of cocaine, 2,049 pounds of fentanyl, 4,050 pounds of methamphetamine, 2,200 weapons, and $15.3 million.”

There are approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel who serve in CBP’s Air and Marine Operations.

Illegal aliens making their way to the United States encounter many dangers along the way, including from the extreme climates along the southern border and the abuse from the cartels and smugglers who profit from their travels. Very vulnerable children are also subject to these journeys – several of whom are forced back and forth across the border to help adult migrants exploit loopholes in U.S. immigration policies.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

Border Patrol Captures Large Groups Of Single Adult Illegal Immigrants

Border Patrol Captures Large Groups Of Single Adult Illegal Immigrants

By Corinne Murdock |

Border Patrol agents are reporting encounters and apprehensions of large groups of hundreds of single adult illegal immigrants from across the globe.

Over the weekend and within a span of three hours, Tucson Sector agents apprehended two groups totaling 303 migrants representing 18 different countries. Most were single adults, and appeared to be males.

Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens reported the apprehension of seven felons over the weekend. The men involved had criminal pasts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, lewd acts with a child, mayhem or rape and burglary, assault with a weapon, alien smuggling, domestic violence, and possession or intent to deliver drugs.

The Hamas attack on Israel and ongoing conflict may or already has caused further strain on the border crisis. The Daily Caller obtained an internal Customs and Border Protection (CBP) memo dated Oct. 20 warning of a potential increase of budding or active terrorists aligned with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or Hezbollah crossing the southern border.

“San Diego Field Office Intelligence Unit assesses that individuals inspired by, or reacting to the current Israel-Hamas conflict may attempt travel to or from the area of hostilities in the Middle East via circuitous transit across the Southwest border,” said the memo. “Foreign fighters motivated by ideology or mercenary soldiers of fortune may attempt to obfuscate travel to or from the US to or from countries in the Middle East through Mexico.”

For the 2023 fiscal year (October 2022 through September) there were over 2 million illegal immigrants encountered at the southern border. That included a 27 percent increase in criminal or wanted illegal immigrants by Border Patrol: over 15,200 this year so far, compared to over 12,000 last year. Of those, nearly 1,000 had outstanding arrest wants or warrants.

That also includes an 18.6 percent increase in criminal or wanted illegal immigrants by the Office of Field Operations (OFO): over 20,100 so far this year, up from nearly 17,000 last year and 6,500 in 2021. This year’s total is nearly double that of the average Trump administration OFO year. 

Recidivism has increased from 7 percent in fiscal year 2019 to 26 percent in fiscal year 2020 and 27 percent in fiscal year 2021.

There were also 169 FBI terror watchlist individuals encountered at the southern border for the 2023 fiscal year, nearly doubling last year’s record of 98 and greater than the previous six fiscal years combined. 

These numbers are likely a significant undercount. There have been around two million gotaways over the past two years of the Biden administration. Gotaways refer to those detected but not encountered or apprehended.

Owens revealed that there were at least over 18,000 known gotaways in the first 16 days of this fiscal year (2024, which runs from this October through next September). 

“These are individuals whose identities & purpose we do not know,” said Owens. “That is why you need every Border Patrol agent to be in the field and on patrol.”

The number of gotaways reached 23,000 as of Monday, per CBP confirmation to Fox News.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

High-Ranking Border Patrol Official Sounding Alarm On Exponential Number Of ‘Gotaways’

High-Ranking Border Patrol Official Sounding Alarm On Exponential Number Of ‘Gotaways’

By Daniel Stefanski |

A high-ranking Border Patrol official is sounding the alarm about the number of ‘gotaways’ in the month of October.

This week, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens posted on “X” that “over 18,000 gotaways” have been known to have escaped detection from law enforcement “in the first 16 days of Fiscal Year 2024.”

Chief Owens added that “these are individuals whose identities and purpose we do not know.”

The 2024 fiscal year just began this month of October. Ali Bradley, a National Correspondent for NewsNation, reported that there were “roughly 670,000 ‘gotaways’ for Fiscal Year 2023.”

During President Joe Biden’s three-year (and counting) tenure in the White House, there have been more than 1.7 million estimated ‘gotaways’ at the border, compared to just over 415,000 ‘gotaways’ for former President Donald J. Trump’s four years in office. Border officials and experts have varied theories and opinions on how to estimate groups of ‘gotaways’ – especially since some are known to cover their tracks, which are key to Border Patrol’s approximations in the field. The actual number of ‘gotaways’ could be much higher than the reports.

‘Gotaways’ could pose a serious danger to the homeland of America because, as Chief Owens stated, their identities and purpose for migrating to the United States are unknown. However, these ‘gotaways’ aren’t the only concern for border officials and local law enforcement.

With the rising tensions and violence in the Middle East this month, more attention has been given to the apprehensions of aliens crossing America’s border illegally from ‘special interest countries,’ which, according to a definition from the Department of Homeland Security, is “a non-U.S. person, who, based on an analysis of travel patterns, potentially poses a national security risk to the United States or its interests.” Bradley also reported this week that there were more than 76,000 migrants from ‘special interest countries’ arriving in the United States during the just-completed fiscal year.

Apprehensions of suspected terrorists have also created major fears for law enforcement and elected officials alike, who have seen those numbers drastically increase over the past few years. In the first eleven months of Fiscal Year 2023, officials encountered 151 individuals between ports of entry, who were flagged on the Terrorist Screening Dataset, compared to 98 in FY 2022 and 15 in FY 2021.

The counts of ‘gotaways’ and apprehensions of suspected terrorists and migrants from ‘special interest countries’ aside, the situation at the border has continued to spiral out of control on all fronts. Official numbers from the month of September have not been released as of Friday afternoon, but earlier this month, Fox News reported over 260,000 apprehensions for that month. If those numbers are accurate, which they usually are, that would put the number of apprehensions at the Southwest border for FY 2023 at just under 2,500,000 – an increase over FY 2022, which was a significant jump from FY 2021.

In Chief Owens’ communication about the number of ‘gotaways,’ he also writes, “That is why you need every Border Patrol agent to be in the field and on patrol” – something that the beleaguered and overwhelmed agency hasn’t been able to institute for the better part of the past decade with the exponential rise of illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

Arizona Democratic Lawmakers Say Border Crisis Is Sensationalized

Arizona Democratic Lawmakers Say Border Crisis Is Sensationalized

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona Democratic lawmakers representing the border issued a public announcement on Tuesday declaring the border to be improved. 

Neither of the senators behind the announcement, Brian Fernandez (D-LD23) and Rosanna Gabaldon (D-LD21), acknowledged the state of the border as a crisis.

Gabaldon indicated that ongoing concerns over the border were overblown, likening the border to a “political pawn” used to score points for voting bases. Gabaldon said that the 25 percent decline in border arrests last month and the decline in border encounters indicate an improvement in border security. 

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) documented about 144,600 encounters last month, a decline from the 206,700 encounters in May. Last month’s encounters were 63,200 less than last June’s total, and 44,400 less than the total for June 2021. However, the total remains four times as many as the total for June 2020 (33,000) and 40,200 more than June 2019. 

Under President Joe Biden, there has been an historic total of nearly 5.7 million illegal immigrant encounters at the southwest border. 

With one more month in this fiscal year, terrorist illegal immigrant apprehensions by CBP at the southern border have reached 140, already surpassing last year’s total of 98. 

Gabaldon did allude that illegal immigrants do continue to suffer in their attempts to evade legal ports of entry on their journey to the U.S., though she didn’t expand on her remark.

“We must begin to recognize the human cost of failing to address the border properly,” said Gabaldon.

Fernandez said that the public’s current understanding of the border as a crisis was due to “misinformation” and “pointing fingers” to assign blame. Fernandez added that reporting over the border crisis is “sensationalized” due to the decline in encounters and arrests.

Fernandez further said that leadership, including Gov. Katie Hobbs, were taking the right actions to mitigate the border crisis. He cited one meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as proof of action.

“Governor Hobbs has already made a concerted effort to address our border needs,” said Fernandez. 

Hobbs also held listening sessions in March to better gain a grasp on the state of the border. That same month, Hobbs began the process of ending former Gov. Doug Ducey’s Border Strike Force. Hobbs already removed the shipping containers closing up the border wall installed in the waning weeks of the Ducey administration.

The senators called for increased funding for legal ports of entry, declaring that’s where a majority of illicit trafficking occurs. The pair also called for citizenship opportunities for illegal immigrants.

“It is our responsibility to better protect our communities and those seeking asylum,” said Gabaldon.

“Our policies must offer a pathway to citizenship for those paying into our economy and communities,” said Fernandez. “It’s time we look at our immigration policy and present Arizona with a pathway forward that offers security and opportunity for all.”

The southern border hasn’t been alone in handling the illegal immigrant influx: the northern border has seen a marked increase in attempted illegal entries, especially by those wanted on criminal or terrorist charges. In June, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) began investigating reports of the northern border left unmanned while remaining open for 24 hours.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Another Terrorist Captured Illegally Crossing Border Day After Title 42 Ended

Another Terrorist Captured Illegally Crossing Border Day After Title 42 Ended

By Corinne Murdock |

Another FBI watchlist terrorist was apprehended crossing the border, this time one day after Title 42 ended.

The terrorist came from Pakistan and was apprehended in Ajo, according to information provided by unnamed federal sources to The Washington Examiner. The terrorist was captured within a wave of around 700 illegal immigrants crossing in the area. 

There has been a significant increase in terror watchlist apprehensions under Biden. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) disclosed on Wednesday that they’d apprehended 16 terrorists along the border in April alone — more than the total apprehensions from the 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 fiscal years combined. 

According to data from December, terror watchlist arrests have increased over sixfold since Biden took office.

So far this fiscal year, there have been over 1.4 million southern border encounters. That’s nearly 134,000 more encounters than from the same time span from the last fiscal year (October 2021 through April 2022).

That brings the total border encounters under President Joe Biden to over 5.6 million. 

The average of these encounters totals over 201,000. If that average sustains through the remaining 21 months of Biden’s first term, there may be over 9.8 million illegal immigrant encounters by the end of next year.

Under former President Donald Trump, there were a total of over 2.3 million encounters. There may be four times as many illegal crossings by the end of Biden’s first term. 

Despite the continued onslaught of the border crisis, Arizona’s Democratic leaders have been hesitant to fully back proposed remedies.

Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03) last week supported the termination of Title 42, but criticized the Biden administration’s lack of action on meaningful immigration reform and infrastructure.

“While the specific needs and requests of each border community varied, one similarity was clear: the administration has not done enough to meet their needs, and these local officials require additional resources, personnel, and funds to ensure our border stays secure and that the processing of asylum seekers is done in a humanitarian way,” stated Gallego.

That same day, Gallego issued another statement dismissing his Republican colleagues’ border proposals as an unserious “sham” perpetuating “cruel” Trump-era policies. The proposals included detainment of unaccompanied children, and restricting asylum outside of legal ports of entry.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-07) complained last August that too many Americans were caught up in the border crisis to notice the religious disrespect of illegal immigrants. Specifically, Grijalva complained that border agents were confiscating illegal Sikh immigrants’ religious items, such as their turbans and bracelets. 

“All these festering issues get overwritten because everybody starts screaming about the border and the invasion, and so these go into the background,” said Grijalva. “I don’t think they’re background issues. Border Patrol is the largest law enforcement agency with the least amount of accountability in the country. And that’s the problem.”

Democratic congressional candidate Kirsten Engel supported ending Title 42 last year as part of her prior, failed campaign, and denied the existence of the border crisis.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.