Illegal immigrants seen pouring into US through breach in border wall in Arizona

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Illegal immigrants streamed through a smuggler-made gap in the border wall in Lukeville, Arizona, on Thursday evening, highlighting the continued challenges faced by Border Patrol agents, even in areas where there has been wall construction.

Fox News shot the video in Lukeville, Arizona, which showed illegal immigrants streaming through the breach, which had been cut by the cartels. People who are believed to be smugglers appear in the gap, clapping at the illegal immigrants to hurry up before they return to Mexico.

In another part of the video, smugglers can be seen recording the migrants with their phones, likely recording proof that their human cargo has been delivered into the U.S.

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January 4, 2024: Migrants flee through a gap in the border wall in Lukeville, Arizona.  (Fox News/Bryan Allman)

The video shows the coordination of smugglers to get illegal immigrants into the U.S., at which point they will either flee deeper into the U.S. or turn themselves in to Border Patrol, after which they are often released into the care of non-governmental organizations.

There were over 300,000 migrant encounters alone in December, including those who crossed illegally and those who appeared at ports of entry, in addition to the more than 2.4 million encounters in FY 23. 

Meanwhile, Fox has reported that during a period of December there were over 5,000 migrants releases each day. The number of illegal immigrants on Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s non-detained docket soared from 3.7 million in FY 2021 to nearly 4.8 million in FY 2022 to nearly 6.2 million in FY 2023. The non-detained docket includes illegal immigrants who have final orders of removal or are going through removal proceedings but are not detained in ICE custody.

The crisis has put increasing political pressure on the Biden administration. Republicans, as well as Democratic mayors who have seen massive migrant surges into their cities, have called on the administration to do more to solve the crisis.

Republicans have called on the Biden administration to limit the release of migrants into the U.S. interior, including by the use of humanitarian parole. Republicans in the House have also pushed legislation that would restore Trump-era programs and also restrict asylum claims.

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The Biden administration has said it is facing a Hemisphere-wide crisis and is pursuing a policy of targeting smugglers, expanding “lawful pathways” and increasing consequences for illegal entry, arguing that it has removed over 460,000 people since May.

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But it says it is working within a broken system and needs funding and immigration reform from Congress. It has requested an additional $14 billion, but that request is being held up as Republicans demand more limits on asylum — something that many Democrats have rejected.

Seperately, the Biden administration announced a lawsuit this week against the state of Texas after Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation that would allow for state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants.

Fox News’ Aubrie Spady contributed to this report.

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