Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revealed that the largest single group of asylum seekers to ever cross the U.S. border at one time did so on Monday by tunneling under steel fencing near San Luis, Ariz., on Monday, according to a report by ABC News.
Smugglers dug multiple holes that were several feet long underneath the steel border fence so that the group of 376 asylum seekers could enter, according to ABC.
CBP says 179 of the record 376 people who crossed were children, including over 30 unaccompanied minors.
“In my 30 years with the Border Patrol, I have not been part of arresting a group of 376 people,” Anthony Porvaznik, the CBP sector chief in Yuman, told ABC. “That’s really unheard of.”
Porvaznik said that his unit needs funding to provide for the families crossing and better barriers along the border.
“That’s our No. 1 challenge that we have here in the Yuma sector, is the humanitarian problem,” Porvaznik said.
The crossing comes as President Trump is demanding $5.7 billion in funding for a wall on the Mexican border as the partial government shutdown continues with no end in sight.
Democrats have demanded that Trump re-open the government and have rejected the calls for wall funding.
Mexican authorities announced last week the discovery of a third tunnel in a town across the southern border from Arizona that they suspect was used to transfer drugs and people across the border.
#Nogales #Sonora. Como parte de nuestro servicio para brindar seguridad en la zona fronteriza, policías federales detectaron un túnel de casi 10 metros de longitud, presumiblemente usado para cometer ilícitos. Tu reporte es seguro y confidencial llama 088 o usa #PFMovil. pic.twitter.com/uenMTmZ6H5
— Policía Federal Mx (@PoliciaFedMx) January 9, 2019
During a roundtable discussion with law enforcement officials in McAllen, Texas, earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent Melissa Lucio showed President Trump how enterprising border crossers have dug elaborate tunnels under walled off sections of the U.S.-Mexico border, unintentionally debunking the president’s case for a border wall.
“Here, this is just a couple of miles from where we stand,” Lucio explained.
“This is a tunnel,” she said, pointing to a photograph of the tunnel. “This is the second tunnel recently that we have located. This is an area that we actually have wall.”
Border agent accidentally debunks #Trump’s case for a #borderwall: “Here, this is just a couple of miles from where we stand. This is a #tunnel. This is the second tunnel recently that we have located. This is an area that we actually have wall.” pic.twitter.com/sOXDdxKBSV
— GuardiansOfDemocracy (@Guardemocracy) January 11, 2019