Nearly 200 illegal immigrants apprehended crossing border in New Mexico

Federal border agents patrolling the southern border in New Mexico apprehended 180 illegal immigrants early Tuesday as the group was trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the group – like many they have seen in recent months – was comprised primarily of Central American families and unaccompanied minors. They were detained near Sunland Park, New Mexico.

The agency said the Sunland Park Emergency Medical Service responded to the scene to provide medical attention to some of the people apprehended. An undisclosed number were transported to a local hospital for additional medical attention.

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“This is a situation that Border Patrol Agents continue to face in southern New Mexico: hundreds of parents and children being encountered by agents after having faced a dangerous journey in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers,” the agency said in a statement. “This is the second group of more than 100 people since the beginning of the fiscal year in the Sunland Park area.”

Earlier this week, CBP said that a group of 90 Honduran nationals was apprehended Monday morning in the small town of Quemado, Texas after they had crossed the Rio Grande River. Many in the group were women and children, ranging from 1 to 17 years of age.

A group of 90 Honduran nationals - mostly families and unaccompanied minors - were apprehended after crossing the Rio Grande River in Texas.

A group of 90 Honduran nationals - mostly families and unaccompanied minors - were apprehended after crossing the Rio Grande River in Texas. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

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One of the women in the group experienced abdominal pain and stated she was pregnant, CBP said. She was rushed to Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center where she went into labor and gave birth.

“Although groups of this size, until recently, have been uncommon in the Del Rio area, our agents are encountering larger groups of immigrants with women and young children,” Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak said in a statement. “Our highest priority will always be the safety of all people involved, no matter the situation. However, it is a criminal offense to enter the United States at a place other than a designated port of entry. Those who choose to enter illegally will be arrested and handled accordingly.”

There are about 2,900 active-duty troops and about 2,100 National Guard troops on the border in support of Customs and Border Protection. That combined total of 5,000 is expected to grow to 6,000 by March 1 as the Pentagon provides additional support.

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The border mission for active-duty forces began on Oct. 30, 2018, as Trump asserted that caravans of Central American migrants posed an urgent national security threat. Critics dismissed his use of the military on the border as a political gimmick. The active-duty mission has since been extended to Sept. 30.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.