Texas Border Patrol agents stationed in the Rio Grande Valley Sector have encountered more than 800 illegal immigrants within a 24-hour period, including what officials described as the largest group apprehended thus far, this year.
The two large groups were encountered by border agents on Tuesday and the first batch of aliens attempting to illegally enter the United States was taken into custody in the morning.
“At the time, [this] was the largest group encountered this summer,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a press release. “Many within the group suffered from dehydration and exhaustion,” they added.
The group consisted of 336 immigrants of which 328 were family members. The remaining eight were unaccompanied children. The majority were coming from Guatemala.
“Border Patrol Emergency Medical Technicians responded and provided medical assistance to those in need before being sent to the hospital for further treatment,” officials said.
Later that day, border agents working near Hidalgo in Texas located the “single largest group” so far this year. The Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector (RGV) started to track large groups of illegal immigrants in 2007 and Tuesday’s encounter was “by far,” one of the largest to date.
The group consisted of 509 immigrants which included 331 family members; 115 unaccompanied children and 63 single adults, the agency said.
“These apprehensions account for the single largest group apprehended thus far, this year,” they noted, adding that the group consisted of immigrants coming from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Venezuela.
The RGV also said that at the time of the statement’s publication, the agency has made more than 700 rescues of immigrants.
“From the river to ranchlands, our agents are doing everything they can to locate and rescue individuals who are lost or distressed, and we are witnessing firsthand that migrants are experiencing the worst as their trek to the border is unforgiving,” RGV Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings said.
Border agents said they are continually discovering unusually large groups of illegal aliens in the area trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in “significant numbers.”
According to CBP, around 1 million illegal immigrants have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border since President Joe Biden took office, with numbers in June seeing another increase compared to the prior month which already had record-high numbers. Last month, agents apprehended 188,829 people illegally crossing the border, up from 180,034 in May, according to CBP. That averages 6,294 apprehensions per day for the month.
In some border sectors, particularly the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, the Border Patrol facilities have been so overwhelmed that many individuals weren’t released with the common Notice to Appear document that states a date and time to appear in court. Rather, they received a Notice to Report, which is an honor system that requires the person to check in at their closest ICE facility within 60 days.
Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.