TUSCON, AZ — The large number of families seeking asylum along the southern border of Texas has caused immigration agents to transport many of them to Arizona.
The Arizona Republic reports that U.S. immigration officials are taking families who arrived at checkpoints in El Paso, Texas, and releasing them 300 miles (about 483 km) away in Tucson, Arizona.
Families who were transported had already been released into the custody of relatives in the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents transported 398 asylum seekers from El Paso to Tucson between Feb. 16 and Feb. 18.
The newspaper says government figures show the number of immigrants apprehended while traveling as families has gone up 1,689 percent in the first five months of the current fiscal year.
Tucson shelters are taking in many of the families.