Border Patrol agents in the Laredo Sector arrested five Bangladeshi nationals on Friday, bringing this year’s total to 541–nearly triple Fiscal Year 2017’s tally of 181.
Since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2018, Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents arrested 541 Bangladeshi nationals who paid Mexican smugglers as much as $27,000 each to be brought from their home country to the United States. Most recently, on August 24, Laredo Sector agents arrested a group of five Bangladeshi nationals who illegally crossed the border near Laredo, Texas. The sector continues to lead the nation in the apprehension of Bangladeshi nationals, according to Laredo officials.
On Friday, agents patrolling south of Laredo encountered a group of five suspected illegal immigrants. An interview and records check revealed the five people to be Bangladeshi nationals. The agents took the foreign nationals to the Laredo Station for processing.
The rate of illegal crossings by Bangladeshi nationals is rising. It took nearly eight months for the total to reach 251 in late May 2018, Breitbart Texas reported. The number reached 400 only five weeks later. Approximately 100 more crossed in the past few weeks ending on August 3.
Since August 1, nearly 40 Bangladeshi nationals were arrested. Laredo Sector officials told Breitbart Texas that nearly all of the Bangladeshis are young men between the ages of 18 and 35. Officials say they pay Mexican cartels to smuggle them from Bangladesh to South or Central America and then up to Tamaulipas, Mexico, where the cartel known as Los Zetas moves them across the Rio Grande River.
Hundreds of miles of open river border in south and central Texas made the area a prime human smuggling corridor.
Laredo Sector – Bangladeshi Apprehensions Per Fiscal Year
2018 Year-to-Date — 541
2017 — 181
2016 — 1
“You have to look not only at the numbers of folks coming across in our Area of Responsibility (AOR),” Acting Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens told Breitbart Texas during a phone interview earlier this year, “but also, who they are and where they’re from because that very much affects how we meet the threat.”
“When you have countries like Bangladesh that have had potential ties to terrorism in the past — well, these folks that are coming from that country, what is their intent when they are crossing into the United States illegally?” the sector chief asked. “What is their ultimate destination? What is their goal?”