Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents arrested 18 more illegal immigrants from Bangladesh this week. The arrests came in separate incidents.
On Thursday, agents working in south Laredo came upon a group of nine illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande River border with Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. After arresting the migrants, the agents learned they discovered yet another group of Bangladeshi nationals being smuggled into the U.S., according to Laredo Sector officials.
Laredo Station agents arrested two other groups of Bangladeshi nationals earlier in the week, officials stated. On Monday and Tuesday, agents arrested nine after they illegally crossed the border.
This brings the total number of Bangladeshi national arrested in the Laredo Sector alone to 274 since October 1, Laredo Sector officials reported. The sector continues to lead the nation in the apprehension of Bangladeshi nationals. Officials previously told Breitbart Texas that more than 60 percent of the total number of arrests of Bangladeshis along the entire southwest border with Mexico.
In addition to the 274 Bangladeshi migrants arrested after crossing, riverine agents patrolling the Rio Grande River recovered the body of another Bangladeshi national who drowned, Breitbart Texas reported on Sunday.
The agents recovered the body and turned the remains over to the Webb County Medical Examiner for identification. The medical examiner’s office worked with the Missing Migrant Project and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Protection Laboratories and Scientific Services for weeks and eventually identified the man as Bangladeshi.
The Bangladeshi nationals used a channel of cartel-connected human smugglers to make their way to the U.S. Their journey takes them from Bangladesh to South America, where they begin their northward trek to Mexico and then to the U.S., Border Patrol officials told Breitbart Texas in recent interviews. The smugglers are allegedly paid up to $27,000 per head, officials said.
“When we talk about the different groups that are crossing into an area, what we’re trying to draw attention to is a more comprehensive look at our threat picture,” Owens explained. “We need to stay away from just focusing on the family units and Unaccompanied Alien Children that are coming from Central America and Mexico. What the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol are dealing with on a daily basis is so much more complex than that.”
“They are not trying to hide or escape,” the chief said about the Bangladeshis. “They walk right up to an agent and claim ‘credible fear.’”
Owens said he believes the smugglers take advantage of the complete lack of a physical barrier in this sector. Of the 170 river miles of border with Mexico, Owens said there are zero miles of fencing or wall.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.