7K Migrants in Custody in South Texas Border Sector, Say Feds

Temporary holding facility in Donna, Texas, opened in the Rio Grande Valley Sector on May 4 (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector

Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector are now holding more than 7,000 mostly Central American migrant families in custody.

Rio Grande Valley Sector agents from Brownsville to Roma apprehended more than 2,400 migrants on Saturday, according to information provided by Border Patrol officials. The majority of these apprehensions include family units and unaccompanied minors from Central America.

“These individuals are just gaming the system,” Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Matthew Albence told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. “They know they will get released, they will never show up (for their immigration hearing), and that we simply just don’t have the resources to go out and get that many of them in any sort of concerted fashion.”

Officials in the Rio Grande Valley Sector reported that agents apprehended more than 10,000 illegal immigrants over the past week and they are currently holding more than 7,000 in Border Patrol stations and processing centers throughout the sector.

“At the current rate, the RGV Sector is expected to surpass the mass migration influx experienced in 2014,” sector officials reported.

Border Patrol officials announced the opening on Saturday of a 40,000-square foot temporary housing facility in Donna, Texas. The facility is tasked with holding the migrant family units who are pending transfer to ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers or Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement officials.

“We’ve exceeded our capacity and we’re doing all we can to house migrants in a humane place and transfer them in and out in a timely fashion as none of the Border Patrol facilities, including the one in Donna, are meant to be long term detention centers,” Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch said in a written statement.

One of the problems faced by Border Patrol agents is attempting to identify false or fraudulent family claims.

Beginning April 16, ICE officials deployed three teams of HSI special agents to the El Paso Sector to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in interdiction efforts in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texa, Breitbart News reported. The agency deployed three additional teams on April 22 to the Rio Grande Valley, Del Rio, Yuma, and El Centro Border Patrol Sectors. Director Albence said a total of 22 teams have now been deployed to seven locations along the border.

“The results have been staggering thus far,” the director stated. “In just a couple of weeks, we’ve interviewed 256 family units and identified 65 fraudulent families. Almost three out of every ten families we’ve interviewed have become fraudulent.”

Albance told Breitbart News they have found more than 100 fraudulent documents and birth certificates used in an attempt to support family claims. “It’s obviously troubling that these children that we see time and time again are being recycled by these criminal organizations,” Albence continued. “They are being brought into this country in terrible conditions. They are being used by some unknown adult in most cases just for the purpose of allowing that adult to be released because they know we can’t hold them. The children are then sent back to their home country and utilized again.”

The director again stressed that Congress is the only body of government that can solve this current problem at the border. “If protecting the health and well-being of these poor innocent victims is not enough to get Congress to do something for a change, I don’t know what is.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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