Agents arrest 63 migrants smuggled through ‘hazardous’ border terrain

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EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a total of 63 undocumented immigrants Monday in a mountainous area where Mexico, Texas, and New Mexico meet.

Mount Cristo Rey — which has a massive statue of Jesus Christ at its summit — for years has been a prime location human smugglers to operate because of limited infrastructure and the ability to hide, officials said.

The border fence is pictured before Mount Cristo Rey in Anapra, New Mexico, near El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Saturday April 7, 2018. (PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
U.S. Border Patrol agents treat a migrant who was injured in a mountainous area near the Texas-New Mexico state line. (CBP)

On Monday, border agents said they observed several groups crossing the border illegally, including some with as many 13 people. Agents arrested people from Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, and several other nations, according to a news release.

Because of its treacherous terrain, the area also poses many dangers for migrants as well as the agents themselves. The agents treated at least one person who was injured while crossing Monday.

However, “transnational criminal organizations” continue to exploit the hazardous terrain of the mountain and its surrounding area, El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez said in a statement.

“The limited visibility during the hours of darkness and the steep terrain increases the risk of injuries for migrants exploited by smugglers that have complete disregard for human safety,” she said.

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