EAGLE PASS, Texas — A single group consisting of more than 700 migrants crossed the Rio Grande into Eagle Pass, Texas, and quickly surrendered to authorities. The group of mostly Cuban migrants entered the United States shortly before dawn on Thursday and were arrested by Border Patrol agents just north of the city. According to a source within CBP, the group is the largest single group of migrants to surrender at Eagle Pass.
The group of 704 migrants walked to a busy highway nearly one mile from the river just after 3:00 a.m. on December 8. According to CBP, the group of migrants included 535 Cuban nationals, 74 Nicaraguan nationals, 49 Colombian nationals, 31 Dominican Republic nationals, nine Peruvian nationals, three Ecuadorians, and three migrants from Mexico.
Early yesterday, agents responded to a massive group of migrants crossing the Rio Grande River near a local ranch in Eagle Pass, TX.
Who was encountered? 510 single adults, 182 members of family units, and 12 unaccompanied children bringing the total number of migrants to 704! pic.twitter.com/K1R8fRZJ3d
— Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens (@USBPChiefDRT) December 9, 2022
According to a CBP media release, 320 members of the large migrant group were single adult males. Nearly 200 in the group were single adult females. The remainder of the group consisted of 74 family units and 12 unaccompanied migrant children.
The U.S. Border Patrol categorizes groups of 100 or more as “large groups.” This fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the Del Rio Sector, which includes Eagle Pass, accounts for nearly 90 percent of all large groups encountered by the U.S. Border Patrol nationwide.
The migrants were taken to a nearby Border Patrol processing facility where, according to a source within CBP, most will be released inside the United States as they pursue asylum claims.
Nearly 10,000 migrants were apprehended within the Del Rio Sector in a one-week period ending December 3. During the same week, more than 4,000 migrants entered the country and managed to elude apprehension. Most of the large groups encountered within the Del Rio Sector enter the United States in the Eagle Pass area of operations.
In November alone, 48,000 migrants were apprehended within the Sector making it the second busiest sector for migrant crossings nationwide.
The increase in migrant traffic has impacted the Border Patrol’s ability to field routine patrols in many border areas within the sector. As most Border Patrol agents are relegated to transporting, processing, and providing humanitarian care for the increasing number of migrants surrendering in large numbers, fewer agents are available to detect and pursue migrants who attempt to evade arrest.
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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