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Thu, Oct. 17

US officials sending asylum seekers from Texas to Arizona

Six-year-old Daniela Fernanda Portillo Burgos sits on the shoulders of her mother, Iris Jamilet, 39, as they look out through the fence of a immigrant shelter in Piedras Negras, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. A caravan of about 1,600 Central American migrants camped Tuesday in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras, just west of Eagle Pass, Texas. The governor of the northern state of Coahuila described the migrants as "asylum seekers," suggesting all had express intentions of surrendering to U.S. authorities. (Jerry Lara/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

Six-year-old Daniela Fernanda Portillo Burgos sits on the shoulders of her mother, Iris Jamilet, 39, as they look out through the fence of a immigrant shelter in Piedras Negras, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. A caravan of about 1,600 Central American migrants camped Tuesday in the Mexican border city of Piedras Negras, just west of Eagle Pass, Texas. The governor of the northern state of Coahuila described the migrants as "asylum seekers," suggesting all had express intentions of surrendering to U.S. authorities. (Jerry Lara/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

TUCSON — 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 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.

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