U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Big Bend Sector in Texas tracked and eventually came into contact with a group of 31 individuals dressed in camouflage on Tuesday, November 5. The individuals were later identified as Guatemalan nationals with no lawful presence in the country.
Last week, Sanderson Station agents were conducting routine patrol duties near the Rio Grande border boundary when they came across footprints apparently belonging to multiple individuals walking northbound. Federal agents followed the tracks for several hours with the assistance of a CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) aircrew and Texas DPS officers. By 1:00pm local time, dozens of individuals dressed in full camouflage were discovered “attempting to conceal themselves in thick brush,” according to Border Patrol officials. Around the same time, the air units managed to locate more similarly dressed hikers.
Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents tracked footprints in the thick brush of a deep mountain ravine while #AMO and @TxDPS aircraft searched from above, leading to the apprehensions of 31 Guatemalans wearing camouflage clothing. Details via @CBPWestTexas: https://t.co/MaKewjtQnI pic.twitter.com/nZf8UhzqOm
— CBP (@CBP) November 12, 2019
Federal officials say a total of 31 individuals were apprehended as they attempted to conceal themselves in a “deep mountain ravine.”
After background and biometric screenings were complete, the 31 were all identified as Guatemalan illegal immigrants. Authorities note that full immigration processing is still underway and therefore ages and potential criminal histories remain unavailable.
“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 prepared statement.
This crossing is atypical, given that migrant groups are more frequently found in other border sectors—plus they often seek out the first sign of law enforcement for voluntary surrender. End to end, the Big Bend Sector spans 517 miles from Sierra Blanca to Sanderson, Texas. The Sanderson Station alone is responsible for 3,000 square miles along 91 miles of the U.S.-Mexico Border. Recent federal statistics show the Big Bend Sector to have the least adult apprehensions among the nine sectors.