TUCSON –Tucson Sector recently brought back an initiative to deter illegal immigration by prosecuting anyone who attempts to cross the border unlawfully within the Tucson Sector’s area of responsibility, including first-time offenders.
Illegally crossing the border is a violation of Title 8, United States Code 1325. Prosecution for illegally crossing one time results in a misdemeanor charge, with multiple crossings amounting to a felony. This program was reinitiated in June and, in the first 30 days alone, Tucson Sector prosecuted 565 first-time offenders.
The purpose of this measure is to dissuade migrants from risking their lives to cross illegally through the inhospitable Sonoran Desert. By adding criminal consequences to all apprehensions, Tucson Sector plans to make the west desert region even more undesirable place to cross.
Tucson Sector has already shifted resources to the west desert, where the majority of rescues, deaths and apprehensions occur. In June alone, agents rescued 80 people who attempted to cross the border illegally.
Tucson Sector Border Patrol continues to remind individuals of the dangers involved when attempting to cross the border illegally. Arizona’s desert shows no mercy for those unprepared for its remote, harsh terrain and unpredictable weather.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials welcome assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol and remain anonymous by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Contacting the Border Patrol to report illicit activity could result in saving someone’s life.