Migrants Detained After Crossing Into Arizona Under U.S.-Mexico Border Fence

The CBP said that since the beginning of October, 24 groups of more than 100 migrants have crossed the border near Lordsburg, New Mexico. There were 176 children in the group. They were taken to Yuma after entering the country on Monday. The unusually large group was nearly entirely from Guatemala.

"That's our No. 1 challenge that we have here in the Yuma sector, is the humanitarian problem", he told ABC News.

"The United States Border Patrol is constantly building intelligence in order to combat these trafficking organizations that are constantly targeting them and gaining intelligence in order to apprehend them in the future", said Jose Garibay, Yuma Sector Border Patrol public information officer.

Border Patrol officials said agents would be processing the aforementioned apprehended subjects accordingly, according to the release.

CBP had only three agents patrolling the 26-mile-long section of the border where the crossings took place. "The only reason they're trying to say that they're family units is that they know if they're a family unit, they're going to be released within 20 days".

In November, a group of around 80 migrants from Guatemala - primarily families - were apprehended by Border Patrol after climbing over the legacy landing mat border wall east of the San Luis Port of Entry.

"In my 30 years with the Border Patrol, I have not been part of arresting a group of 376 people", he told the television network.

The asylum seekers were separated into cells: fathers with sons, fathers with daughters, unaccompanied minors and mothers with children.

One particular case highlighted by ABC News was a man who paid coyotes $5,000 to lead him and his 12-year-old daughter up from Guatemala to the USA border, leaving behind his wife and two daughters. His wife and two younger daughters stayed in Guatemala.

USA authorities say 115 migrants smuggled to a border crossing in New Mexico are the second large group of Central Americans encountered by agents at the remote port of entry in as many days.

The vast majority surrender immediately upon crossing to claim asylum.

US President Donald Trump has said the situation at the US-Mexican border a "humanitarian crisis" and urged Democrats to approve funding for tightening border security.

In the meantime, Democrats, who dominate the House of Representatives, have blocked Trump's funding requests for his border protection project, which involves a $5.7 billion investment in construction of physical barrier on the border, forcing the government into longest shutdown in U.S. history and furloughing hundreds of thousands of government employees without payment.

On Wednesday, almost 250 immigrants were taken into custody at the same crossing after turning themselves in to authorities. Another recent study by MIT Sloan and Yale professors estimated that number at 22 million.