(The Center Square)
In the first three months of fiscal year 2023, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona filed criminal charges against approximately 1,456 foreign nationals who entered and then re-entered the US illegally. Arizona.
The cases are from the Tucson and Yuma US Customs and Border Protection sectors in Arizona, which cover the entire Arizona-Mexico border. The numbers include only prosecutions by the US Attorney’s Office and exclude CBP prosecutions.
The Yuma Sector covers the southeastern corner of Arizona – about 181,670 square miles divided primarily between California and Arizona and 126 miles of the US-Mexico border from the Imperial Sand Dunes in California to the Arma-Pima-Pima line. The Tucson Sector covers most of the state of Arizona from the New Mexico state line to the Yuma County line and includes 262 shared border miles with Mexico. Both sectors saw more than 816,000 apprehensions and escapes in fiscal year 2022, a record high.
Tucson Sector Chief John Modlin recently testified to Congress that “the majority of encounters are single adult men trying to avoid detection. The smuggling organizations to our south are well organized and resourceful,” Modlin said, referring to Mexican cartels. Criminal organizations use various tactics to move thousands of migrants illegally across borders.
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The US Attorney’s Office prosecuted the cases in partnership with CBP Tucson and Yuma Sectors, Homeland Security Investigations and other authorities.
“Reducing the smuggling of migrants and mitigating the risk to communities affected by these crimes will continue to be a priority,” it said in a statement. “Some of these prosecutions are directed against leaders and coordinators of non-US civilian trafficking organizations,” referring to Mexican cartels. “Other prosecutions are aimed at preventing young adult drivers, often recruited on social media platforms, from engaging in this dangerous activity. Prosecutions against young drivers include three cases against juvenile traffickers during this period.
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Law enforcement officials told Center Square that they’ve spotted a trend of young adults responding to social media posts to pick up illegal aliens across the border and drive them north with the hope of making several thousand. A carload of dollars. When caught, they will instead be charged with multiple felony counts of trafficking in persons, which can carry multiple years in prison.
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has increased the penalties for violating the state’s crime of human trafficking to a minimum of 10 years in prison. Others have proposed up to five years in prison for the trafficking count. On Thursday, Abbott said, “Illegal trafficking is aided and abetted by US residents. It has to stop. We should impose a minimum prison sentence of at least 10 years for those caught smuggling illegal immigrants in Texas.
Texas law enforcement officials and residents of border communities told Center Square they support the state increasing stronger penalties for human trafficking.
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.