Central American Illegal Immigrants Continue to Flood U.S. Border at Record Rate

Undocumented immigrants remove items of clothing while being searched by U.S. Border Patrol agents who caught them on December 7, 2015 near Rio Grande City, Texas.
File Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

MCALLEN, Texas — Despite the many assurances provided by the Obama Administration, the flow of Central American illegal immigrants continues to climb and is expected to surpass previous records.

In terms of families illegally entering the country, the number has already surpassed the infamous 2014 amount when the sudden flow of illegal immigrants into south Texas set off a humanitarian crisis.

As Breitbart Texas has been reporting, the area known as the Rio Grande Valley has been pushed to the forefront of the illegal immigration debate. Mexican cartel smugglers have taken full advantage of the system in order to maximize their profits from human smuggling as well as the smuggling of illegal aliens. In 2014, Mexico’s Gulf Cartel was able to make approximately $38 million in a matter of months off human smuggling alone.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, of the 194,726 detained illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico, 125,032 have been apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley (64 percent).

The most recent figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection revealed that in the 2016 fiscal year, authorities have encountered 68,080 family units, the term used to describe underage immigrants accompanied by at least one adult relative. That figure is already higher than the 66,144 family units apprehended in 2014. In the case of underage immigrants, during 2016, authorities have apprehended 54,052, in comparison to the 66,115 underage immigrants detained in 2014.

The record-setting immigration issue, along with the lack of resources, is something agents have been warning about for some time. In May, Breitbart Texas reported on the spike in underage illegal immigrants being apprehended at the border. At the time, members of the National Border Patrol Council sounded the alarm. 

“We haven’t seen anything like this since the summer of 2014. The flow is increasing at an alarming rate. If we don’t do something to stem the massive influx, we will likely see numbers that eclipse those of 2014,” said US Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera speaking as Vice President for the NBPC Local 3307. “The cartel groups are tying us up on one end with the family groups and running their narcotics because we are caught up doing babysitting duties.”

Earlier this year, Breitbart Texas reported on how in the Laredo sector authorities had managed to apprehend 18,000 illegal immigrants in just five months. As Breitbart Texas has reported in the past, Laredo is one of the least secure border regions due to its proximity to populated areas, lack of physical barriers, limited use of technology and its diminished number of agents in the field.

In the Mexican border city of Reynosa, the criminal organization known as the Gulf Cartel has set up stash houses throughout the region to hold illegal immigrants in preparation for their trip over the river into Texas. The immigrants are taken west towards the area immediately south of Starr County. The area has been a bustling corridor due to its lack of physical barriers and its limited patrolling.

Last month, a van carrying 26 illegal immigrants from Central American countries crashed along a Mexican highway near Reynosa. The van had an armed escort that fled the scene. Five immigrants died at the scene of the crash and a sixth one died days later. In June, Breitbart Texas reported on how Mexican authorities had been able to detain dozens of illegal immigrants at those stash houses in Mexico. 

Once the cartel smugglers are able to bring illegal aliens over the Rio Grande, they move them to stash houses on the U.S. side where they hold them until they can be moved to their final destination. The journey to the stash house presents a security issued for individuals on the U.S side of the border. Breitbart Texas previously reported, if encountered by law enforcement,  human smugglers routinely flee and start high speed chases through small border cities such as La Joya, Sullivan City and others. The chases have often resulted in tragic crashes that have left dozens injured and resulted in multiple fatalities.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project and you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

This article has been updated to reflect additional information.


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