On Monday, a group of 376 asylum seekers, 179 being children, crossed the U.S. border through a tunnel beneath a wall near San Luis, Arizona. According to ABC News, the migrants voluntarily turned themselves into Customs and Border Protection and are considered to be “the largest single group of asylum seekers ever to cross into the U.S.”
Smugglers had apparently dug seven holes only a few feet long underneath an old model of barrier along the border. The barrier was reported to rise about 12 feet. Currently, the migrants are reported as being held in custody of CBP in “cinderblock cells with thick glass windows that overlooked a central bullpen.”
“As in all such facilities, the CBP said it works to process them as quickly as possible and provides basic medical care. Still, detainees eat, sleep and use the bathroom in the same room. Scraps of food mingled with silvery space blankets on the floor. In one cell, several boys had balled up the blankets into a makeshift soccer ball they were kicking around.”
ABC News reported that some of the migrants they spoke to came from Guatemala, one a father and daughter who had left other members of their family behind as well as a mother and her two children. However, it was also reported that there were over 30 unaccompanied minors in the group. When talking to ABC News, Border Sector Chief Anthony Porvaznik stated that although a more secure border was necessary, funding to provide and care for those arriving is urgently needed.
"In my 30 years with the Border Patrol, I have not been part of arresting a group of 376 people. That's really unheard of." -Chief Anthony Porvaznik