400 Bangladeshi Migrants Apprehended This Year in Single Texas County

Bangladeshi national arrested after illegally crossing border near Laredo. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Laredo Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Laredo Sector

Border Patrol agents in the Laredo Sector have apprehended just under 400 Bangladeshi nationals during this fiscal year. The Bangladeshi migrants, mostly male between the ages of 18 and 35, pay cartel-connected human smugglers up to $27,000 to make their journey to America.

This week, agents assigned to the Laredo South Station apprehended 15 Bangladeshi nationals in three separate incidents. This brought the total for Fiscal Year 2018 to 392 since October 1, 2017, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

All of the apprehensions occurred in this one area in the border town of Laredo, Webb County, Texas.

The trendline for the number of apprehension of Bangladeshi nationals is curving upward. In May, Breitbart Texas reported that Laredo Sector agents had arrested 251 migrants from Bangladesh — about 30 per month. With this week’s apprehensions that trendline has increased to nearly 40 per month.

The increasing trend becomes more self-evident when you look at the numbers for previous fiscal years. During all of FY2017, Laredo Sector agents arrested only 181 Bangladeshi nationals, and only one in FY2016, officials previously told Breitbart Texas. The increase from all of FY17 to the first nine months of FY2018 is nearly 120 percent – just one week into FY18 Q4.

Agents expressed concern back in April about these particular foreign nationals who are spending up to $27,000 each to travel to the U.S. illegally, Breitbart Texas reported.

“You have to look not only at the numbers of folks coming across in our Area of Responsibility (AOR),”  Acting Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens told Breitbart Texas during a phone interview at the time, “but also, who they are and where they’re from because that very much affects how we meet the threat.”

“When you have countries like Bangladesh that have had potential ties to terrorism in the past — well, these folks that are coming from that country, what is their intent when they are crossing into the United States illegally?” the sector chief asked. “What is their ultimate destination? What is their goal?”

Bangladesh has been described by many as a hotbed of terrorist activity. In March 2017, the British government issued a travel advisory for Bangladesh to its citizens warning of potential terror attacks. The warning cited several incidents of terrorist activity in the months leading up to the travel advisory’s issuance.

Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza, in his capacity as president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2455, told Breitbart Texas the apprehension of these Bangladeshi nationals in the Laredo sector shows there is a “clear pipeline” from countries that are home to terrorists through Mexico and into the U.S.

“We have been lucky to catch these groups but there is no telling how many other people from countries that sponsor terrorism could be utilizing that same pipeline,” Agent Garza stated.

Officials previously told Breitbart Texas they don’t know what the motivation is for these people who are going to a great deal of expense and trouble to get here. One agent said, “Even if these particular migrants have the best of intentions, others who might have bad intentions could be utilizing the same travel pipeline to reach the U.S.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGAB, and Facebook.

(Disclosure: Breitbart Texas sponsored the Green Line podcast for the NBPC in an effort to provide a platform for agents to inform the public about the realities on the border and what Border Patrol agents face. Director Brandon Darby received an award from the Laredo chapter of the NBPC for his work in helping to defend and bring a voice to Border Patrol agents. Breitbart News assisted in covering funeral costs for a slain Border Patrol agent previously.)

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