EXCLUSIVE: Human Smugglers Dump 100 Migrants in Severely Remote West Texas Region

Eagle Pass Station agents apprehend a large group of migrants who illegally crossed the Rio Grande at night. (U.S. Border Patrol/Del Rio Sector)
File: U.S. Border Patrol/Del Rio Sector

According to a law enforcement source within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a group of more than 100 migrants was encountered entering a remote area between Del Rio and Eagle Pass, Texas. The area is patrolled by Border Patrol agents from the Brackettville Station. They have not seen groups this large in recent times.

The group, according to the source, was transported to multiple Border Patrol stations within the region for processing. The remoteness of the area in question is cause for concern, according to the source, as there are no nearby medical facilities if needed.

The group crossed on Wednesday morning near a Rio Grande dam between Del Rio and Eagle Pass, 30 miles from the nearest town. The group comprised of more than 100 mostly Cuban family units, single adults, and unaccompanied children.

There were also migrants from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, according to the source.

The source says the single adult migrants are contributing to overcrowding at Border Patrol stations in the Del Rio Sector. Agents rely on ICE to find long-term detention space for single adults, the source explained. Currently, there are more than 1,500 single adult migrants sitting in Del Rio Sector stations.

As authorities in Mexico shift operations to combat illicit human traffic, smugglers adjust crossing points in response. Other rural areas within the sector have been used by the cartels to move their human cargo.

The current migrant flow within the sector is straining transportation and processing resources. The Del Rio sector holds the number two position along the southwest border sectors in migrant apprehensions. In October, the sector arrested more than 28,000 migrants.

The flow forced the sector to use outdoor detention camps.

In September, the sector held more than 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants in a makeshift outdoor camp while transportation and permanent detention space was procured.

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.


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