Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents came upon more than 300 migrants who crossed the border illegally on December 18 to surrender themselves. The group consisted mainly of unaccompanied minors and family units, officials stated.
McAllen Station agents received an emergency call from a migrant who said he just crossed the border from Mexico. Agents interviewed the subject about the location of the crossing and determined it to be near Granjeno, Texas, according to Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol officials.
The agents quickly responded to the area and found a total of 67 illegal immigrants, officials stated. The group consisted of family units and unaccompanied minors.
Weslaco Station agents received information a short time later about another large group preparing to cross on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande River near Hidalgo, Texas. The agents responded to the scene and witnessed large numbers of family units and unaccompanied minors crossing the river at the same time. The agents waited for the group to assemble on the Texas side of the river and took the migrants into custody. Officials said the group consisted of 175 migrants.
Weslaco Station agents patrolling near Hidalgo later that evening came upon another large group. This group of 71 was also composed of family units and unaccompanied minors, officials reported.
In total, agents from the McAllen and Weslaco Border Patrol Stations took a total of 313 migrants into custody on Sunday.
A few days earlier, McAllen Station agents came upon another large single group of illegal immigrants that consisted mainly of family units and unaccompanied minors from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Kosovo, Breitbart News reported. Agents were forced to call for additional resources to process the 113 migrants.
Breitbart News published a video on December 11 showing large groups of migrants who regularly cross the border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. In the video, Breitbart News Border/Cartel Chronicles Editor-in-Chief Brandon Darby and border journalist Ildefonso Ortiz met with some of the migrants and discussed their intent to ask for asylum. The video shows that the migrants are not seeking to avoid apprehension but instead, seek out the first Border Patrol or law enforcement official they can find in order to surrender.
Agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector process the highest number in the nation of migrants who cross the border this way and make asylum claims based on “credible fear,” Breitbart News reported on Wednesday. During Fiscal Year 2018, which ended on September 30, 32,521 migrants made credible fear asylum claims after surrendering to Border Patrol agents, the report from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol stated. This represents an increase of 29 percent over the previous year claims made by 25,156 migrants.
During the first two months of the new fiscal year on October 1, Rio Grande Valley Sector agents apprehended 41,470 migrants. Of these, 23,012 were classified as Family Unit Aliens and 4,627 as Unaccompanied Alien Children. Comparing November 2018 to November 2017, Rio Grande Valley Sector officials reported a 216 percent increase in the apprehension of family units and a 44 percent increase in unaccompanied minors, according to the November Southwest Border Migration Report published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.