Texas Agents Apprehend 3 Large Groups of Illegal Immigrants

Texas Agents Apprehend 3 Large Groups of Illegal Immigrants
A group of Venezuelans are picked up by Border Patrol after illegally crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas, on June 3, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Border Patrol in Texas encountered three large groups of illegal aliens attempting to enter the United States over the weekend near a city at the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said.

Agents of the Rio Grande City Border Patrol Station (RGC) apprehended a total of 736 immigrants in La Grulla—a city in Starr County about 13 miles from Rio Grande—between July 16 and July 18, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a press release on Monday.

The multi-day encounters started on the morning of July 16 after RGC agents working in the city observed a large group of 235 illegal immigrants making landfall in the United States.

“The group totaled 235 migrants consisting of 187 family members, 27 unaccompanied children, and 21 single adult migrants,” CBP agents said. More than half were found to be citizens of Guatemala. The remainder of the individuals were coming from Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

The second group totaling nearly 300 immigrants were apprehended by RGC agents the next morning after they observed them walking on a ranch road illegally entering the country. This was the largest group of illegal immigrants apprehended in the area so far this year.

As agents processed the people in this group, an illegal immigrant was exhibiting COVID-19 related symptoms, CBP said. That person later tested positive after being transported to a hospital.

“Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these brazen attempts with zero regard for the lives they endanger nor for the health of the citizens of our great nation,” border officials said in the statement.

A final group of about 200 immigrants was encountered on July 18 close to the same area as those that were apprehended by RGC agents one day prior.

More than half of this group were found to be citizens from Honduras. The group consisted of 158 family members, 29 unaccompanied children, and 16 single adults.

Border agents encountered these unusually large groups of illegal aliens in the area as they have continued to apprehend an increasing number of illegal immigrants each month this year.

A group of Venezuelans
A group of Venezuelans wait to be picked up by Border Patrol after illegally crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas, on June 3, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

According to CBP, around 1 million illegal immigrants have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border since President 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.

A major change to the current border flow is expected after July 21 if Title 42 is revoked, which is largely seen as the remaining tool holding back the floodgates. Title 42 allows for Border Patrol to turn back illegal border crossers almost immediately as a pandemic measure, rather than be placed in ICE custody for a more protracted process through deportation proceedings under Title 8.

“Title 42 is absolutely critical,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tae Johnson said during a congressional hearing on May 13. “There’s certainly some gaps in our ability to track” illegal immigrants after they’re released, he said.

Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.

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