In a recent development at the US-Arizona border, thousands of migrants are entering the US daily through open floodgates, turning the Tucson post into the primary illegal entry point into the country. According to the New York Post, these floodgates, numbering 114 in total, were intentionally left open by US officials.
The primary reason cited was to allow water to flow unobstructed during the annual monsoon season and to facilitate the migration of an endangered species of antelope. However, this decision has inadvertently led to an average of 1,400 migrants, some from as far as China, entering the US daily. Border agents, despite their efforts, find themselves overwhelmed and outnumbered, rendering them virtually powerless in stopping this influx.
“We thought the agents were going to tell us something,” an Ecuadorean migrant mentioned. “But we just walked in.” Another individual from Cuba remarked, “It was so easy to get into the US.”
“Nothing like our journey through Mexico. That part was hard,” she elaborated. “I thought there was going to be more security.”
The U.S.-Mexico border spans approximately 1,954 miles and crosses through various terrains, including deserts, mountains, and rivers. The border region is secured through a combination of physical barriers, technological surveillance, and personnel deployments. In Arizona, barriers range from pedestrian fencing in urban areas to vehicular barriers in remote areas.
The monsoon season typically occurs between June and September. It’s characterized by a dramatic increase in rainfall after an often prolonged dry period. Some areas of the border, particularly in Arizona, are prone to flooding during the monsoon season. This can make certain crossing points more perilous for migrants and may lead to changes in migrant routes.
Infrastructure, including border gates and barriers, may be affected by the rains and subsequent floods. For instance, certain gates, which might be opened to allow the flow of floodwaters and prevent damage to barriers, can inadvertently provide increased access points for migrants during the dry periods.
Adam Isacson, director for defense oversight at the advocacy group Washington Office on Latin America, remarked, “We haven’t seen this many migrants since about 2008.” He went on to say, “With the end of Title 42, in a way that nobody oversaw, it seems to come back to Tucson.” The expiration of Title 42 had already accelerated an already record-breaking surge of illegal immigration under the Biden administration.
Isacson observed, “What you’re seeing is a lot of large groups who want to turn themselves in. Tucson has traditionally been the focal point for smugglers bringing Mexicans and Central Americans who prefer to remain undetected. However, currently, they encounter groups of 100 people at once who don’t attempt to flee.”
He further emphasized, “It’s really becoming an epicenter. This is big.”
The NY Post indicates that each of Arizona’s 114 gates, which have been accessible for close to two months, feature doors that are 12 feet wide, accommodating for a motorcycle to pass through. On the Mexican border, smugglers transport migrants by bus. Upon reaching their destination, these individuals disembark and effortlessly proceed into the US.
“We tried to shut the gates but the order came down that we had to leave them open,” one inside source explained. “You wouldn’t leave the front door of your house open in a bad neighborhood.”
“Three nights ago, a big group of migrants were on the Mexican side,” said another source. “There were two agents on ATVs [all-terrain vehicles] and one line agent trying to stop them from entering. The agents blocked the gates with their quad [bikes]. The cartel guy just started pushing people.”
“They rushed the agents. You had people climbing over quads. You had people pushing the agents. Not a single one got charged.”