EAGLE PASS, Texas — In two separate events in as many days, nearly 800 migrants managed to cross the Rio Grande and surrender to Border Patrol. One group of nearly 400 crossed on Wednesday and another similarly sized came early Thursday.
According to a source within Customs and Border Protection, the groups were mostly Venezuelan family units and single adults. The source says daily apprehensions are on the rise as large groups in excess of 100 are crossing daily. Seven large groups were apprehended within the sector in last five days.
The increase in migrant crossings in the Del Rio Sector, which includes Eagle Pass, has resulted in the sector becoming the busiest in the nation.
Until January, the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) in Texas held the top position in migrant apprehensions since 2013. In November 2021, the RGV apprehended an average of 1,590 migrants per day. That daily average dropped to around 700 so far in January.
The increase in crossings is alarming to the Border Patrol in the region, according to the source. The Del Rio Sector operates with one third of the staffing in the Rio Grande Valley. The source says detention and processing capacities are also less abundant.
The strain on personnel and resources needed to process the large groups of migrants has caused the agency in Del Rio to reduce routine patrols.
The source says in most cases, migrants choosing to surrender are released into the United States to pursue asylum.
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.