Border Patrol stops migrants in semitruck, storm drain tunnels in El Paso-Las Cruces area

U.S. Border Patrol agents recently intercepted about 70 migrants inside El Paso border-area storm drain tunnels and found another 18 migrants in a tractor-trailer near Las Cruces in different smuggling attempts.

A Border Patrol dog alerted agents to the group of migrants being smuggled inside the tractor-trailer, El Paso Sector Border Patrol Chief Anthony "Scott" Good stated over the weekend in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

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U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended 18 undocumented migrants who were being smuggled inside a tractor-trailer near Las Cruces, New Mexico.
U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended 18 undocumented migrants who were being smuggled inside a tractor-trailer near Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Good shared photos of the migrants — who had their faces blurred — crowded in the sleeper compartment of the semitruck. The date of the bust and further information, including the migrants' country of origin and whether the driver was arrested, were not disclosed.

Migrants in storm drain tunnels in South El Paso

Border Patrol agents arrested about 70 undocumented migrants found inside storm drain tunnels during potentially dangerous border-crossing attempts in South El Paso last week, officials said

Two groups of migrants were discovered about 8 p.m. on Jan. 31, after agents were alerted to an illegal entry near an area known as the Boone storm drain, located east of the Bridge of the Americas off Boone Street in the neighborhood of the El Paso County Coliseum, officials said.

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The specially-trained Confined Space Entry Team began searching tunnels after finding an entry at a manhole near Interstate 10, the Border Patrol said. High levels of chlorine gas were detected in the tunnels.

A U.S. Border Patrol image shows a group of undocumented migrants inside storm drain tunnels during a border-crossing attempt in South El Paso on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
A U.S. Border Patrol image shows a group of undocumented migrants inside storm drain tunnels during a border-crossing attempt in South El Paso on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

The agents first located a group of 27 migrants and then found another group of 43 migrants in storm drains near Paisano Drive, the agency said.

The migrants were from Guatemala, Mexico, Bolivia, Honduras and El Salvador, including four unaccompanied juveniles from Mexico and Guatemala, the Border Patrol said. All migrants were checked medically and then processed for expulsion under Title 8 immigration laws.

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It is not uncommon for "coyotes" (human smugglers) to route undocumented migrants through El Paso storm drain tunnels running down to the Rio Grande. The migrants then pop out of manholes on city streets.

The dark, complex tunnel system can be dangerous with migrants potentially risking getting lost, trapped and facing hazards such as suffocation, drowning, toxic chemicals and poisonous critters.

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a group of undocumented migrants found inside storm drain tunnels during a border-crossing attempt in South El Paso on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a group of undocumented migrants found inside storm drain tunnels during a border-crossing attempt in South El Paso on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: Border Patrol stops migrants in semitruck, El Paso tunnels