Border Arrests on Record-Setting Pace in Rio Grande Valley
Apprehensions of illegal border crossers are on pace to top 240,000 in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) this year. On just one day, Feb. 27, Border Patrol agents arrested more than 1,300 people — a five-year record.
“A majority of the arrests are familyunits and unaccompanied children from Central and South America,which greatly impact the number of agents available to carry out the bordersecurity mission within the RGV Sector,” the Border Patrol reported,noting that the apprehensions represented roughly half of all detentions alongthe entire U.S. Mexico border.
The RioGrande Valley surge comes as no surprise. From 2000-2014, arrests in the busy sector jumped 92percent, hitting an annual average of 158,000. Atthe current rate, they will be up another 52 percent this year.
And these are just the arrest figures. No one knows how manymore illegal aliens successfully evade capture in the sprawlingregion that spans 320 river miles, 250 coastal milesand 19 counties stretching over 17,000 square miles.
Coyotes transportingCentral American migrants know that the RGV is thousands of miles closer than California.The valley is fertile ground for human trafficking and drug smuggling becausemuch of it lays adjacent to federally protected lands and wildlife refuges,creating access problems for agents.
PresidentDonald Trump, who visited the Rio Grande Valley earlier this year, has made thearea a top priority for border wall construction, and Congresslast month agreed to fund 55 miles of barriers there. The new wall will be builton the western side of the sector, where officials say approximately 90 percentof arrests occur. There are55 milesof existing barrier on the eastern side.
Thisleaves hundreds of miles of the Rio Grande Valley unsecured, but that’s of noconcern to the open-borders crowd and their political front-men. For Rep.Will Hurd,whose district includes a large swath of the RGV, it’s all rainbows andbutterflies. The Texas Republican voted to block Trump’s emergency order formore wall funding, and branded the border crisis a “myth.”
A local lawman is similarly cavalier. HidalgoCounty Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra, in charge of policing the largest and most populous county inthe valley, says local crime rates are at record lows, and that illegalimmigration has little effect on public safety.
Apparently Sheriff Guerra doesn’t get out much. Fourof Texas’s most dangerous cities are in Hidalgo County, and one, Donna, has the third highest violentcrime rate in the Lone Star State. Can it be mere coincidence that these communities are inthe well-trod path of human smugglers and drug traffickers?
“These local economies are built on dopeand money laundering,” another South Texas sheriff told FAIR last month. Aprofessor in Brownsville calls drug money “theWD-40 of the valley.”
Likethe illegal alien arrest figures, illegal activity is surely understatedbecause the porous border makes residents reluctant to report crimes. Fearingretaliation by violent cartels trafficking narcotics, illegal aliens andweapons, locals figure their survival depends on keeping their heads down andtheir mouths shut.
Meantime,the border surge continues apace in their midst.