Border Patrol announces largest-ever group of migrants arrested: 424 people

by Anna Giaritelli
| April 30, 2019 07:37 PM

Border Patrol agents stationed on the U.S-Mexico border arrested a group of 424 people who illegally crossed into New Mexico on Tuesday morning. Authorities said the group is the largest ever apprehended at once.
The massive group of primarily Central American families and children traveling without parents arrived in Sunland Park, a suburb of El Paso, Texas, shortly after midnight.

Hours later, a second group of 230 people illegally crossed the border and surrendered to agents from the El Paso Sector. The second collection was also made up of families and children from the northern countries of Central America.

Border Patrol's parent agency, Customs and Border Protection, said the groups are not traveling to the U.S. on their own, they are paying human smugglers and cartels to get them into the U.S.

"Criminal organizations continue to exploit innocent human lives in order to enhance their illicit activities without due regard to the risks of human life. In most cases these smugglers never cross the border themselves in order to avoid apprehension," CBP said in a news release.

The Border Patrol said in late March its agents on the southern border had apprehended 100 groups since October that contained 100 or more people.

In its 2017 fiscal year, Customs and Border Protection documented two groups of 100 people or more. The number of group apprehensions jumped to 13 in 2018.