“Well, this year to date we’ve had 13 vehicle pursuits thus far, as compared to last year for the same period we actually had two,” said Joel Villarreal, mayor of Rio Grande City.
RGC’s Police Lieutenant Santiago Alaniz said that last year there were only two car pursuits and six arrests of undocumented people.
“Right now, it’s an uptick most of undocumented subjects we’ve had approximately 416 that have self-surrendered compared to 570 pounds or more of drugs,” said Lieutenant Alaniz.
They find that marijuana is the drug that has been the most confiscated.
If RGC police stop someone who is undocumented, they call the nearest Customs and Border Patrol station, which is in Alto Bonito.
“We immediately call Border Patrol and they take over the investigation and of course the undocumented subjects,” said Alaniz.
Mayor Villarreal said that they currently have extra law enforcement present to help.
“Yes…That is the state’s version of lone star operation,” said Villarreal. “Right now, we have local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies working together to fight narcotics, arms, and human smuggling.”
Villarreal said that in addition to the extra law enforcement, they’re using advanced technology to keep up with the numbers.
“As well as directional listening devices, remote video surveillance systems, mobile night vision technologies, and other undisclosed technologies,” said Villarreal.
Though the mayor is in favor of securing the border, he said that the country as a whole must re-address immigration policies.
“What we need is the help to address it but more from the point of addressing the root of the cause, but that has to happen at the national level,” said Villarreal.