Federal border agents patrolling the southern border in New Mexico seized 180 illegal immigrants early on Tuesday when the group tried to cross into the United States from Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the group – like many they have seen in recent months – consisted mainly of Central American families and unaccompanied minors. They were detained near Sunland Park, New Mexico.
The agency said Sunland Park Emergency Medical Service responded to the scene to provide medical assistance to some of the people arrested. An unreleased number was transported to a local hospital for further medical attention.
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"This is a situation that border patron agents continue in the face of southern New Mexico: Hundreds by parents and children affected by agents, having experienced a dangerous journey in the hands of conscientious smugglers, "said the agency in a statement. "This is the second group of more than 100 people since the beginning of the financial year in the Sunland Park area."
Earlier this week, CBP said that a group of 90 Honduran citizens were arrested Monday morning in the small town of Quemado, Texas, after crossing the Rio Grande River. Many in the group were women and children who were between 1 and 17 years old.
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One of the women in the group experienced abdominal pain and said she was pregnant, CBP says. She was rushed to the Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center where she went to work and gave birth.
"Although groups of this size until recently have been uncommon in the Del Rio area, our agents meet larger groups of immigrants with women and young children," said Del Rio sector, acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak in a declaration. "Our top priority will always be the safety of everyone involved, regardless of the situation. However, entering the United States elsewhere than a designated entry gate is a crime. Those who choose to enter illegally will be arrested and handled in accordance with hereby. "
There are approx. 2,900 active soldiers and about 2100 National Guard troops on the border in support of customs and border protection. The total total of 5,000 is expected to grow to 6,000 per year. March 1, when the Pentagon provides additional support.
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The Border Mission for Active Forces began October 30, 2018, as Trump claimed that caravans of Central American migrants constituted an urgent national security threat. Critics dismissed their use of the military on the border as a political gimmick. The active mission has since been extended until 30 September.
Associated Press contributed to this report.