Arizona border floodgates closed early following migrant influx

  • Officials have closed floodgates along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona
  • The closure comes weeks earlier than anticipated
  • The gates were open to prevent debris from backing up during monsoon season

LUKEVILLE, Ariz. (NewsNation) — Floodgates along the U.S.-Mexico border in Lukeville, Arizona, have been closed earlier than expected after a wave of illegal crossings in the area.

Sources told NewsNation that crews closed the gates over the weekend at the request of the Border Patrol after thousands of migrants used the opening as a means into the U.S.

The closure comes weeks before the end of the monsoon season, which is why the gates were welded open earlier this summer.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had previously said the gates would remain closed for the duration of the region’s rainy season, which goes through the end of September, in order to prevent water and debris from causing structural damage to the border wall.

Last week, more than 2,200 people crossed into the Tuscon sector in just a single day. The majority of those individuals came in through the gates.

The cartel was also capitalizing on the open gates, which are just a few miles from the Tohono O’odham Reservation, known as a hub for drug and human smuggling. Authorities say they haven’t been able to patrol the reservation due to a lack of staffing.

Part of that resource shortage is due to the sheer number of migrants who need to be processed each day.

“There’s no one saying that processing isn’t part of the job but certainly just processing is not part of the job,” said Art Del Cueto, vice president and spokesperson of the National Border Patrol Council. “It’s also being out there on the line, catching individuals that are coming into the country wanting to do this country harm, catching drug smugglers that are coming across.”

Border Report

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