Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol officials said that at least 25,000 migrants evaded apprehension this fiscal year after illegally crossing the border from Mexico into South Texas. These are in addition to the more than 120,000 they successfully apprehended.
“Those are folks that we know made it past the infrastructure, the agents, the technology that we do have in place—because our resources are stretched so thin,” Rio Grande Valley Sector Deputy Chief Patrol Agents Raul Ortiz told the Epoch Times during an interview last week. “We actually don’t know who they are. So far, here in south Texas, we’ve apprehended folks from 44 different countries. These are from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, you name it.”
Unlike the Central American migrant families who are surrendering to the first law enforcement officer they can find after illegally crossing the border, Ortiz said that these other 25,000 migrants are “the folks that are trying to get away from our officers each and every day.”
Department of Homeland Security officials previously stated that cartel-connected human smugglers utilized the large migrant groups to tie up Border Patrol resources so that they can successfully smuggle other migrants into the U.S. without detection.
In February alone, Rio Grande Valley Sector agents apprehended 25,355, including 14,448 family units and 2,904 unaccompanied minors. These migrants take up considerable resources that would otherwise be directed toward searching for drugs and illegal immigrants avoiding arrest.
Earlier this month, Rio Grande Valley Sector agents apprehended a group of nearly 300 migrants who crossed near Granjeno, Texas. Officials said this was the largest single group they had seen so far this year. Officials said they apprehend more than 1,000 migrants that day in this single Texas sector.
“Smugglers and traffickers have caught on that the outdated laws, lack of resources, and bad court decisions effectively give them a ‘free ticket’ into America,” U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen told the House Homeland Security Committee earlier this month. “Make no mistake: the problem is getting worse.”