More than 100 gang members from El Salvador are among the massive wave of migrants that’s poured across the border in recent months, with nearly 400 illegal immigrants nabbed trying to cross en masse last week and a group of more than 100 caught scaling a wall Monday, beleaguered border officials said.
United States Customs and Border Protection in Arizona tweeted surveillance video Wednesday that showed a group of around 110 migrants from Central America illegally scaling a section of the border wall in the Yuma sector on Monday.
In the video, which is 55-seconds long, a group of illegal immigrants can be seen scaling the wall with the help of a smuggler, who used a ladder.
The smuggler then runs away from the border wall, hauling the ladder.
The video was released a week after a group of 376 Central American migrants were apprehended after they also illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border near Yuma.
In that incident, authorities said the group — which included 179 children — dug under a steel barrier in seven spots about 10 miles east of a border crossing in San Luis and made no effort to elude immigration agents. The unusually large group was almost entirely from Guatemala and were taken to Yuma after entering the country.
The arrests come as a reminder that, while the partial government shutdown — largely over border security disagreements — stretches into its 34th day, smuggling operations along the southern border continue.
Since the shutdown began, border officials in the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector in Texas have arrested over 14,000 illegal immigrants and confiscated over 14,000 pounds of marijuana and 800 pounds of cocaine, border patrol sources told Fox News.
Since October, authorities have also arrested more than 100 people believed to be El Salvadorian gang members in the same sector, the same sources added. The notorious MS-13 gang that originated in Los Angeles prisons before infiltrating the rest of the U.S. is mainly comprised of El Salvadorans.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector is where President Trump visited earlier this month to highlight what he called a crisis of crime and drugs along the southern border. Agents in the sector patrol an area of over 17,000 square miles in 19 counties, which includes 320 river miles and 250 coastal miles, according to CBP.
Additional gang arrests were announced by the CBP on Wednesday. The agency said on Twitter that agents in the Yuma Sector conducting patrol Tuesday night along the Colorado River apprehended two MS-13 members.
The men, who are ages 19 and 37, were then taken to a patrol station for processing. Agents determined they were from Honduras and illegally crossed the border into the U.S.
Authorities also found they were flagged as MS-13 members after the older suspect, who had previously illegally crossed into the U.S., had been convicted of shoplifting and providing false information in Georgia.
The younger suspect had no prior criminal or immigration history in the U.S.
The southwest Arizona desert is less remote but arrests have also sharply increased after years of relative quiet. The Border Patrol’s Yuma sector made 7,857 arrests in October and November, more than double the same period a year earlier.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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