The Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector is reporting a record number of illegal family migrations from Central American countries. The previous record was set back in 2014.
At sector headquarters in Edinburg agents say those are record breaking numbers. However, what is more concerning is the influx of criminals trying to get into the country illegally.
Agent Marcelino Medina says, “What we consider threats in the mix, we continue to see gang members, criminal aliens inside these groups trying to disguise themselves among the family units and unaccompanied children.”
Agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector say that approximately 80 percent of all apprehensions are from countries other than Mexico. The increase in these numbers has put a strain on agents.
“Is that it draws man power to actually have to process these individuals. With man power being an issue, having to pull agents from the line to actually go and process these individuals.” Says Agent Medina.
Last month U.S. Congressman Vicente Gonzalez talked about a recent bipartisan trip to Guatemala. Gonzalez says it’s insecurity issues and very little economic opportunities for the poorest of the poor in the countries that they are targeting.
“What we’re doing is engaging Central American countries where people are migrating from and trying to figure out what the root of the problem is.”
Recently, in two separate incidents, Border Patrol agents apprehended 150 individuals comprised of family units and unaccompanied children all from Central American countries. Agents say it’s these large groups that concern them because of individuals trying to hide their criminal identities.
“We have seen sexual predators, people wanted for murder, and people wanted for assault. We’ve even encountered several types of gang members; MS-13 and 18th Street gang being the most prevalent.” Added Agent Medina.
Border Patrol agents say they are seeing the largest number of illegal family migrations. Most of those coming from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.