Since Gov. Katie Hobbs was sworn into office in January, the number of foreign nationals illegally entering Arizona has increased primarily in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Tucson Sector. And as several factors, including Texas expanding border security efforts, are resulting in illegal border crossings increasing further west, law enforcement officials say Arizona can expect greater numbers.
Arizona’s 378 miles of shared border with Mexico is patrolled by agents in two CBP sectors of Tucson and Yuma. Last month, agents in both sectors combined apprehended 36,296 foreign nationals, up from 33,193 in January.
They also reported 19,698 gotaways last month, up from 13,968 in January, according to preliminary data obtained by The Center Square from a Border Patrol agent. The agent provided the information on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. It only includes Border Patrol data and excludes Office of Field Operations data.
Tucson Sector’s 262 shared border miles with Mexico extends from the Yuma County line to the Arizona-New Mexico state line. Yuma Sector’s nearly 182,000 square miles of primarily desert terrain extends from Imperial Sand Dunes in California to the Yuma-Pima County line.