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Arrests of Underage Illegal Immigrants Likely to Surpass 2015 Figures

MCALLEN, Texas — Authorities on both sides of the border continue to see an increase in the number of illegal immigrants and unaccompanied minors trying to make their way into Texas.

During the first four months of the 2015 fiscal year, U.S Border Patrol detained a total of 10,105 young children and teens, that figure shot up to 20,455 in comparison to the first four months of the 2016 fiscal year that run from October 2015 to January 2016. Of the more than 20,000 minors caught in that time period, 12,289 were arrested in the Rio Grande Valley.

The most recent figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection  revealed that from October to April of the current fiscal year, Border Patrol agents have apprehended 223,869 illegal immigrants including men, women and children. As the summer months continue to see an increase in smuggling attempts, forecasts point to the number of illegal immigrants caught at the border to be much higher than the 331,333 apprehensions from the entire 2015 fiscal year. Most of the apprehensions have been taking place in the Rio Grande Valley Sector in South Texas.

According to those statistics, from October to April 2016, 32,952 of the apprehensions or less than 14 percent have been males and females under 17-years of age.  The ongoing spike in the number of minors crossing illegally so far this fiscal year is almost as high as the entire number of minors arrested in 2015 when authorities arrested 39,970 minors.

In a recent operation by Tamaulipas police officers, authorities arrested two human smugglers who had been using taxi cabs in their efforts to smuggle 10 men and one underage teenager from Guatemala. According to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Tamaulipas government, the taxi drivers were from Reynosa and had been taking the illegal immigrants to an area known as Valadeces just south of Starr County, Texas where the group would illegally enter the country.

One day prior to the operation, Mexican authorities busted a human stash house in Valadeces where five men from Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were waiting for their turn to be smuggled into Texas. Earlier this July, Mexican authorities raided a stash house in Reynosa where cartel members had been holding 115 illegal immigrants in preparation to get them over the Rio Grande. 

The hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants get past Mexican authorities end up presenting an ever growing challenge to U.S. Border Patrol agents. For Mexico’s Gulf Cartel and the Los Zetas cartel, human smuggling continues to be a profitable business. Breitbart Texas reported in May 2015 on how the Gulf Cartel had been able to make $38 million in a matter of months from human smuggling alone.

Last month, Breitbart Texas reported on the concerns about the rising number of illegal immigrants being apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley. One of the areas of main concern deals with the rising number of unaccompanied children being detained by authorities.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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