Smugglers Continue Use of Large Migrant Groups to Distract Border Patrol at Texas Border
Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents continue to see the use of “large migrant groups” as a tactic by smugglers to distract and tie-up agents. This week, agents apprehended two large groups totaling nearly 250 Central American migrants.
McAllen Border Patrol Station agents encountered a large group of migrants who illegally crossed the border on Sunday near Hidalgo, Texas. The agents responding to the incident reported a group of 100 migrants from Central and South America, according to information obtained from Rio Grande Sector Border Patrol officials. The group consisted of family units, unaccompanied alien children, and single adults who traveled to the U.S. from Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Border Patrol defines a “large group” as 100 or more migrants who cross illegally in a single incident.
Later in the week, McAllen Station Border Patrol agents again encountered a large group crossing near Los Ebanos, Texas. The agents received a report of the group walking north from the Rio Grande on Wednesday. Agents responded to the scene and took 146 migrants into custody. Officials report the large group consisted of family units, unaccompanied minors, and single adults who traveled to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Border Patrol officials previously stated that smugglers utilize large groups to tie up Border Patrol resources in an area. This tactic allows smugglers to move drugs and other “high value” migrants who do not wish to surrender across the border while the agents are tied up processing the large groups.
Despite a 24 percent drop in migrant crossings in July, the apprehension of migrants who illegally cross the border from Mexico is still up by more than 130 percent over the previous year, Breitbart News reported on Thursday.
The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector continues to lead the other nine border patrol sectors in migrant family apprehensions with 45 percent of all apprehensions. Agents in the RGV Sector apprehended 191,768 of the 432,838 FMUA apprehensions in July YTD numbers — up 305 percent from the previous year. The El Paso Sector jumped by 1,510 percent in FY19 with 124,873 FMUA apprehensions and Yuma was third with 50,172 FMUAs — up 367 percent.