Del Rio Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Brady Waikel told Breitbart News that “nothing crosses the river in this area without a payment being made” to Mexican cartels. His comments came during a recent roundtable discussion between Del Rio Sector leadership and Breitbart News.
“When you’re talking about people coming across and being rescued, and when you’re talking about deaths [while] crossing the border,” Chief Waikel told Breitbart News, “those transnational organizations — that’s the cause of all of that.”
Waikel and Del Rio Sector Director of Operations Randy Clark revealed that agents in their sector conduct more than half of all water rescues across all Border Patrol sectors. Agents in the Del Rio Sector carried out at least 470 rescues of migrants in life-threatening distress. During FY 2019, which ended on September 30, Border Patrol agents rescued at least 4,900 migrants.
“Nothing crosses the river in this area without a payment being made — without being directed by the cartels, by the smugglers,” the chief explained. “All of those organizations are what are pushing people across. They’re the ones directing them ‘cross here, cross there.’”
“When we start talking about people that are dying crossing the river — people being rescued — you’ve got to look at ‘why are they crossing where they are and when they’re crossing,’” he continued.
“Why were they crossing here?” he asked. “Because that’s where the organizations are telling them they have to cross.”
Full Panel Discussion:Matt Perdie
Waikel’s comments came during an 80-minute discussion between senior leadership of the Del Rio Sector and Breitbart News. The in-depth conversation covered the impact of recent policy changes on the number of migrants crossing the border illegally, the lack of physical barriers along this mostly unsecured section of the Mexican border with Texas, the abuses of migrants by the Mexican cartels and human smugglers, additional resources needed to achieve positive control of the sector, and the impact of the recent surge of migrant families crossing into this sector in record numbers.