U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter aircrews assisted Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents in apprehending a group of 31 Guatemalan migrants attempting to sneak into the U.S. from Mexico.
Sanderson Station Border Patrol agents patrolling the border in a desolate part of the Texas Big Bend region on the morning of November 5 encountered footprints leading away from the Rio Grande into the brush. Agents determined the footprints appeared to be from a large group of migrants attempting to sneak into the country, according to information obtained from Big Bend Sector Border Patrol officials.
The agents began tracking the footprints and called for aerial surveillance assets to assist in the search. Helicopter aircrews from AMO and DPS responded and began searching for the migrants. A few hours later, the AMO and DPS aircrews located the migrants and directed the ground-based agents to their locations.
Officials report the apprehension of 31 migrants dressed in camouflage attempting to hide in the thick brush. The agents arrested the migrants and transported them to the Sanderson Border Patrol Station for processing and a criminal background investigation.
An immigration interview determined that all 31 migrants are “citizens and nationals of Guatemala illegally present in the United States,” officials reported.
“The majority of the area in which our agents conduct their assigned patrol duties is desolate, rugged and unforgiving. I am proud to work with our dedicated and committed Agents.” Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak said in a written statement. “Our ability to work in partnership with CBP Air and Marine Operations and the Texas Department of Public Safety allowed us to safely and effectively make these arrests.”
Agents processed all of the Guatemalan migrants for immigration violations under CBP guidelines.
The Sanderson Station is responsible for the security of approximately 3,000 square miles and 91 border miles between the U.S. and Mexico, officials stated. The El Paso AMO Air Branch has the Southwest Region’s largest area of responsibility encompassing all of New Mexico, All of Oklahoma, and West Texas.