Arrests Set Record at I-5 Checkpoint

A weekend crackdown at the U.S. Border Patrol's San Onofre checkpoint netted a record number of illegal migrants, authorities said.

The Saturday night sweep, which caused a traffic backup of up to five miles on northbound Interstate 5 from 5 to 10 p.m., resulted in 947 arrests.

"The thing that this illustrates is the volume of illegal-alien traffic that we are dealing with down here," said Ted Swofford, a supervising agent of the Border Patrol. He said arrests are up 40% to 50% this year over last.

Swofford said all but 10 of those arrested were Mexican citizens. They were returned to Mexico after they waived deportation hearings.

Swofford said proceedings will begin for the others, who were from Guatemala, India, Egypt, El Salvador and Australia.

The raid involved 67 agents, who fanned out into the fields along I-5. A helicopter searchlight assisted the officers, who chased people trying to bypass the checkpoint on foot.

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