LA JOYA, Texas — On the eve of a visit and border tour by former President Donald Trump, the crisis is in full swing during the early morning hours in the Rio Grande Valley. Local Border Patrol agents faced a busy period typical for the epicenter of the current migrant surge.
One agent tells Breitbart Texas that more than 100 family unit members were apprehended after surrendering before daybreak. As residents walked around a community park for exercise, groups of single adult migrants could be seen running from a brushy area near the Rio Grande and into the nearby neighborhoods with hopes to elude apprehension.
Apolonio “Polo” Ramon, a lifetime local resident, frequents the park to “get some air” and film the migrant foot traffic in the immediate area. He says it has not been this busy in years.
“It was pretty busy last night … The immigrants were coming out near the park and the Border Patrol was loading them up all night,” Ramon said.
Polo, 70, refers to himself as a citizen observer: “I just come out and videotape whatever I see, my narrations are usually too colorful to be of use, but it helps kill time.”
He spoke for a while about life growing up in Starr County. “We used to run around the river all day in the sun and swim to Mexico just to go visit relatives and attend fiestas.” He says now it is too dangerous to cross due to recent cartel violence. He is sympathetic to the migrants crossing with children. “[They] don’t have a choice whether to cross or not, their parents bring them. That’s who I feel sorry for.”
He worries about the high temperatures and says he heard a migrant may have died from heat a few days before. “We need to do something, this is not good, but I don’t have the answers,” he said in a frustrated tone.
The Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas leads the nation in apprehensions for migrant and narcotics smuggling. The sector is more than 400% busier than it was last year at the same time. Overall, the Border Patrol is expected to surpass one million migrant apprehensions for this fiscal year when official arrest totals are released in July.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.