US border agents detained 224 people in two groups that entered the country near the city of Imperial Beach, California. The majority (183) were Brazilians, according to US Customs and Border Protection.
After Brazilians, Romanians and Colombians were the most common nationalities among detainees (8 each). People have entered the US illegally in the last five days.
The first group contained 123 people (the largest for the year so far) and was detained on Saturday. The migrants crossed the border into a region where the wall dividing the US and Mexico was damaged.
The second group, numbering 101, was detained on Tuesday after crossing a drainage pipe at the international border near Imperial Beach. According to authorities, the smugglers cut the bars of the drainage pipe using a blowtorch for people to get through.
Among the 224 immigrants, 167 were adults alone, and 57 were accompanied by family members.
“I’m proud of the effort our agents make daily to continue securing the border, especially considering that border encounters have increased over the past two years,” said Aaron Heitke, San Diego’s Chief Patrol Officer.