Federal border patrol officers patrolling the southern border of New Mexico apprehended 180 illegal immigrants early Tuesday as the group attempted to move from Mexico to the United States.
US Customs and Border Protection said the group – like many of them they have seen in recent months – was mainly composed of Central American families and unaccompanied minors . They were arrested near Sunland Park, New Mexico.
The agency said the Sunland Park emergency medical service had reacted on the scene to provide medical care to some of the apprehended people. An undisclosed number was transported to a local hospital for additional medical care.
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"This is a situation border patrol officers continue to face in southern New Mexico: hundreds of parents and children encountered by agents after facing a dangerous journey in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers, "the agency said in a statement. "This is the second group of more than 100 people since the beginning of the exercise in the Sunland Park area."
Earlier this week, CBP announced that a group of 90 Honduran nationals was apprehended Monday morning in the small town of Quemado, Texas, after crossing the Rio Grande. Many of the group members were women and children aged 1 to 17 years old.
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One of the women in the group had abdominal pain and said she was pregnant, CBP said. She was transported to the Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center where she gave birth and gave birth.
"Although, until recently, groups of this size are rare in the Del Rio area, our agents are encountering larger immigrant groups with women and young children," said Dr. Del Rio's Chief Patrol Officer, Matthew J. Hudak, in a statement. "Our greatest priority will always be the safety of everyone involved, no matter the situation. However, entering the United States at a place other than a designated port of entry is a criminal offense. Those who choose to enter illegally will be stopped and treated accordingly. "
There are about 2,900 soldiers on active duty and about 2,100 National Border Guard soldiers in support of customs and border protection. This combined total of 5,000 is expected to increase to 6,000 by March 1, thanks to additional support provided by the Pentagon.
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The border mission for active duty forces began on October 30, 2018, when Trump claimed that Central American migrant caravans posed an urgent threat to national security. Critics have rejected his use of the army at the border as a political gadget. The active duty mission has since been extended until September 30th.
Associated Press contributed to this report.