RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — It’s an all-hands-on-deck operation for Border Patrol, as droves of migrants continue to cross the U.S. Mexico border illegally.
“We’ve seen about 19 large size groups. What I mean by large size is over 100. That’s triple-digit number of people coming across at the same time, usually, it’s going to be family units and unaccompanied children,” said Christian Alvarez, Special Operations Supervisor, RGV Sector.
Border Patrol officials say the spike is comparable to apprehension numbers seen in 2019, including more accompanied children.
“From October until the end of February, we’ve seen more than 11,000 unaccompanied alien children. That’s about 100 percent increase from last year,” said Alvarez.
By law, Border Patrol must process and release individuals within 72 hours. The Laredo and El Paso sectors are assisting with processing.
Border Patrol is also utilizing the new Donna Tent Facility as well as a temporary processing center set up near the Anzalduas Bridge.
“Our numbers have already surpassed last year’s total numbers that was 90,000 last year, were closer to 100,000 (apprehensions) this year,” said Alvarez.
Border Patrol officials say once migrants are apprehended they are given masks to wear and screened for symptoms and signs of illness. If they do require medical attention, migrants are taken to a medical facility.