Danyelle Khmara, AZPM News, 13 February 2024

People began crossing the border Friday, in a remote area east of Sasabe, including many families with children.

Aid volunteer Bryce Peterson says Border Patrol only picked up a limited number of people, so aid groups began bringing migrants to the Border Patrol station in Sasabe.

“Throughout the course of the night another 200 people had showed up,” Peterson said. “So we were dealing with about 400 people who were all freezing cold, wet from being snowed and rained on. All the people that had been walking throughout the night were in really bad shape.”

Migrants have been crossing in that remote area for months, and aid groups are asking Border Patrol to set up a warming station and processing center in the remote area and increase processing capacity at the station in Sasabe.

Seemingly at odds with the aid workers’ account, Customs and Border Protection says they prioritized the humanitarian response to the migrants abandoned in the cold, triaged the situation and prioritized the most vulnerable migrants for transportation.

By Sunday morning, all the migrants had been taken into Border Patrol custody. There were no serious medical emergencies or deaths reported.