Just over 70 unaccompanied minors have been taken into custody in the past 24 hours, per a tweet sent on Wednesday by the interim Chief Patrol Agent of the Tucson Sector John R. Modlin. Modlin’s tweet also stated that there has been a 160% increase in unaccompanied minors taken into custody this year, with over 10 thousand minors being brought in year-to-date at the Tucson sector alone.
This past year has brought even more stress to an already underfunded and undermanned immigration system in Arizona. Its problems only begin with those they are able to successfully apprehend and actually get processed. A video posted this past week by Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb (an outspoken advocate of border funding/protection) depicts another growing problem in Arizona: bailouts.
Bailouts are committed by a number of individuals for a number of reasons. Pertaining to minors, bailouts are often used as a strategy by adults accompanying the minor in order to evade police capture and possible repercussions, leaving the scene knowing that law enforcement cannot leave the minor unattended, and knowing that the minor will not be criminally charged.
This could be a part of the explanation for some of the large numbers of children being captured compared to adults, however the extent of which it could be is yet to be determined. What is clear however is that there is a crisis at the southern border.
This new policy was adopted under President Joe Biden.
Calvin Delgado is the southern Arizona correspondent for the Western Tribune.