As thousands of troops deployed to the southern border await the arrival of a caravan of migrants heading towards the U.S., border patrol agents in Arizona have already been busy, detaining more than 650 illegal immigrants in just two days this week.
Agents in the Yuma Sector said they detained 654 people – most reportedly being family units or unaccompanied minors from Guatemala – on Monday and Tuesday.
Officials said the groups of illegal immigrants are not believed to be associated with the large caravan of mostly Central American migrants that have prompted the military deployment.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Wednesday a group of 55 Central Americans waded across the Colorado River near Yuma and surrendered to agents after walking around vehicle barriers in the area.
“Larger numbers [of illegal immigrants] have started to illegally cross shallow portions of the Colorado River near Yuma,” a press release said.
Vinny Dulesky, the special operations supervisor for Yuma Sector public affairs, told Fox News on Thursday that the majority of the groups came in through the east side of the port of entry and had cut through their metal fences to cross in.
He said he did not know the extent of the damage to the fences, but expected fixing them could cost upwards of $1,600 for each one.
“It can get pricey,” Dulesky said.