A United States Border Patrol truck sits in the shadow of the border fence which is adorned with barbed wire on it's top in Nogales, Arizona. Photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. authorities are reassigning border agents to cover more porous areas of the Mexican-American line in an effort to slow illegal crossings, immigration officials said.
Officials closed the border crossing at Eagle Pass, Texas, to vehicles Monday and reduced the number of people crossing through the port of entry at Lukeville, in a remote stretch of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.
Officials said U.S. Customs and Border Protection is adapting to keep pace with the rapidly shifting routes used by migrants trying to enter the country illegally. Eagle Pass had been the most heavily traveled illegal immigrant corridor along America's southern border with Mexico in the last year, but undocumented traffic in Lukeville has picked up in recent months demanding more law enforcement officers and allowing for fewer resources to process legal crossings.
CBP said it is closing one of two bridges in Eagle Pass, a town of about 30,000 people southwest of San Antonio. Lukeville is in the Border Patrol's Tucson, Ariz., sector, which was by far the busiest of nine sectors along the U.S.-Mexico border last month for attempted illegal crossings.
"The U.S. is continuing to see increased levels of migrant encounters at the Southwest Border, fueled by smugglers peddling disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals and encourage migration," Customs and Border Protection said in a statement. "As we respond with additional resources and apply consequences for unlawful entry, the migration trends shift as well."
John Modlin, the sector chief, said Sunday that posts on the sector's social media accounts would be temporarily suspended in response to "the ongoing migration surge."
"At this time, all available personnel are needed to address the unprecedented flow," Modlin wrote in a post. on X. "The social media team will return once the situation permits."
Modlin later apologized for the "hastily written statement" and pledged transparency from the agency.
CBP was also forced to close a major pedestrian crossing bridge in San Diego when a surge in illegal migrants forced officials to reassign resources to deal with the illegal crossers, many of whom were seeking asylum.
Arrests for illegal crossings were down in October, but they were the second highest on record in September.