Border Patrol Flies 100 Illegal Immigrants to El Paso Due to Influx
Breitbart Texas has learned that due to an influx of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. through the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) sector, 100 of them were transported by plane to El Paso for processing. The flight allegedly left on May 7 and was part of an effort to expedite the processing of thousands of immigrants.
RGV Border Patrol spokesman Daniel Tirado told Breitbart Texas that his sector is overwhelmed with the number of illegal immigrants that currently need to be processed. He added that this is the first time his sector has sent out a plane full for the purpose for processing--the cost to taxpayers is unknown at this time.
"I think what's important right now is not the cost [to taxpayers], but the fact that we're utilizing all the resources available to us to expedite the process," Tirado said. "It's important to note that only adult males were transported in the plane. We're not breaking up family units. These are pre-selected adult males with no medical conditions and no special needs. They don't have any family ties in the U.S. that we know of."
Tirado added, "We're catching an average of 1,000 per day and our agents are processing them around the clock. Processing takes between one to two hours per individual--it varies case by case."
According to Associated Press, The RGV sector has arrested more than 130,000 people for immigration violations since October 1--this marks a 67 percent increase from last year.
"We don't know exactly why there has been an influx of people," Tirado said. "People are coming to look for a better life. Often the immigrants are victims of smugglers, who lie and tell them that if they come to the U.S. they'll have a quick way to make money. Smugglers make lots of money off of these people. Another factor to consider is that South Texas is the shortest point of travel from Central America to the U.S. We have more foreign nationals coming from places other than Mexico than ever."
Louis Bustamante, a spokesman for the Border Patrol's El Paso sector, told Breitbart Texas that once the immigrants arrive, they will be provided with housing, clothing, and food.
"We are going to be supporting and helping out with the processing of immigrants from the South Texas sector. Once we process them, they will then be taken custody by ICE," Bustamante said.
Sylvia Longmire, Breitbart Texas' border expert and contributing editor, said, "This story is a prime example of how the current border security strategy in the Rio Grande Valley is not working. The fence in south Texas has been built in sections, but many gates are missing due to budget shortfalls and leave the barrier wide open for both illegal immigrants and drug smugglers to pass." Longmire added, "However, the main driver behind this surge in immigrants is the deteriorating security and economic conditions in these countries. Honduras is considered the most violent country in Latin America, and the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula is the most dangerous in the entire world due to widespread gang violence. Guatemala is overrun with organized crime and Mexican cartels, and El Salvador is in the midst of a gang war."
Longmire said that all these factors combine to make the Valley the hottest spot right now for illegal crossings by Central Americans. She added, "As Breitbart Texas recently reported, CBP recently dispatched an additional 500 Border Patrol agents from around the country to bolster the agency's presence in south Texas, and if they're already in place, that may also be why apprehensions have risen so dramatically."
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.
This article has been updated.