The Department of Homeland Security dropped off close to 200 immigrants — mostly women and children — at the Tucson Greyhound station this week, leaving them to find their own way to cities across the country to report to immigration offices there.
While such releases are not new, the number left here at the same time has put a strain on local immigration advocates and has customs and bus line officials working on a plan to accommodate the unexpected influx of travelers.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona is processing 400 people, mostly families coming from Central America and Mexico who were apprehended in South Texas and flown here over the weekend, officials said.
To process the surge of crossers from Texas, the Border Patrol is turning to all available resources at its disposal, said Daniel Tirado , Border Patrol spokesman for the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
In the first six months of the fiscal year, Border Patrol agents in that sector detained more people than Tucson did all of last year, with an average of more than 600 apprehensions a day.
In comparison, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents have detained about 61,000 border crossers during the same period, with 18 percent coming from a place other than Mexico.