Border Patrol agents arrested nearly 200 migrants shortly after they crossed the Rio Grande in Normandy, Texas. The Border Patrol is seeing an increase in migrant traffic choosing to ford the river into the town. The groups, often more than 100 strong, are part of what the Border Patrol says is a troubling and dangerous trend.
The small farming community of about 100 residents is accustomed to the stream of migrants crossing nearby but groups this large used to be rare. Border Patrol is responding more frequently to calls involving large migrant groups on a recurring basis.
Since October 18, nearly 600 in three separate groups have been apprehended on the same farm. The groups generally consist of Venezuelan, Cuban, and Nicaraguan migrants, according to Border Patrol.
The driving concern for Border Patrol is the lack of medical facilities and likelihood that some migrants will need emergency assistance. Last week, agents responded to 31 emergency calls related to migrants in distress across the Del Rio Sector. The agents located and rescued more than 40 migrants.
The migrants may be choosing this area to cross for a variety of reasons. Significant media attention focused on the Haitian migrant crisis in Del Rio brought an increased law enforcement presence to that area. In addition, multiple state-funded initiatives and infrastructure projects are underway in Eagle Pass.
A state-funded border wall is currently being constructed in Eagle Pass where large migrant groups were frequently crossing in months past. Texas Army National Guard soldiers are deployed there in anticipation of the arrival of a large migrant caravan making its way through Mexico. The border wall will cover approximately 2 miles of the busiest crossing point in Eagle Pass.
The migrants arrested on Wednesday were transported to a nearby Border Patrol processing facility in Eagle Pass. Once complete, most of the migrants will be released into the local community.
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.