Nearly 18,000 illegal aliens were apprehended by Border Patrol agents in just one sector of the Texas/Mexico border, the Laredo Sector.
Border Patrol agents assigned to the Laredo Sector had an impressive first five months of the current fiscal year which began in October 2015. 17,945 apprehensions were made of illegal aliens who had crossed the border from Mexico, Border Patrol officials wrote in a statement released late Friday afternoon. In addition, large quantities of drugs were seized and 33 bodies of illegal immigrants were found.
The Laredo Sector covers 101 counties in Texas. This area represents 86,793 square miles of the Lone Star State. It covers a distance of 171 miles of the Rio Grande River border with Mexico and runs northward from Laredo through Dallas to the Oklahoma border on the Red River.
Highlighting the accomplishments of the sector during that period, Border Patrol officials reported the seizure of 41,188 pounds of marijuana, 341.17 pounds of cocaine, and 863.17 pounds of heroin. Unfortunately, 33 bodies of illegal immigrants who died while entering the U.S. were found by these agents. Additionally, 184 rescues were carried out.
“These statistics represent the hard work, commitment, honor and dedication that the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol provide everyday while securing our Nation’s borders,” Laredo Sector Chief Mario Martinez said in the statement obtained by Breitbart Texas.
Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza, in his capacity as president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2455 agreed with the chief’s comments about the agents he represents. “Our men and women put their lives at risk to do the job day in and day out,” Garza told Breitbart Texas in an interview Friday evening. “They do their jobs even with aging equipment and lack of support from executive level Border Patrol officials and political appointees.”
“We are very proud of our Border Patrol agents and grateful for the hard work these numbers represent,” Garza continued. “Unfortunately, what we do not know is how many people successfully crossed the border undetected because of large gaps in coverage along the border.” Garza said that number might equal or exceed the number of actual apprehensions.
The report was sent out by officials late Friday afternoon. This is a time government agencies use to send out information they want to see get the least amount of coverage possible. The report does not disclose how many of the 17,945 people apprehended were returned to their country of origin or how many of those people were released into the United States, with or without a notice to appear for an immigration hearing.
The sector chief also took the opportunity to announce the completion of an operational utility evaluation of one Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) that has been deployed in the Laredo sector. “The aerostats have been very effective for the Border Patrol, both as a deterrence and as an excellent means of spotting illegal activity,” officials noted in the report. “Additionally, the aerostats have also been used to help agents save immigrant lives in remote and inhospitable areas.”
The sector is also in the process of adding an additional all-weather road to allow agents to more quickly access sections of the river area and respond to situations where either people or drugs are crossing the border.