The number of illegal aliens crossing the southwest border is just one measure of the Border Patrol’s monumental task. Another is how many illegals border agents must house and care for.
Customs and Border Protection reported on Friday that it is providing care for 8,000 illegals who jumped the border, fully expecting to be caught and provided with food, water, and medical care, and then a trip somewhere in the United States.
Most of the illegals come from from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
And, CBP reported, it continues to grapple with large groups of about 100 or more, along with drug and people smugglers at ports of entry.
Given that nearly 110,000 illegals crossed the border in April, CBP is faced with two choices: babysit for them or let them go.
CBP announced in early May that it had opened two new facilities that hold 500 illegals each, but they aren’t nearly big enough to contain the tsunami of penniless migrants that crossed the border at a rate of more than 3,600 daily during April.
The Rio Grande Valley is under an unprecedented siege, the numbers show. Thus far in fiscal 2019, which began in October, border agents there have processed 101,857 illegals in “families,” a 238-percent increase from last year; 52,543 single adults, a 30-percent increase from last year; and 19,063 unaccompanied “minors,” a 59-percent increase from last year.
Thus, CBP announced, the agency must construct more temporary housing.
“The sheer number of illegal aliens crossing through the Rio Grande Valley has reached record levels, straining the sector’s capacity to process individuals,” CBP reported on Friday. “To create more capacity, agents and other personnel tasked to patrol the border have been re-assigned to construct four temporary structures at both the McAllen and Rio Grande City Border Patrol stations.”
But more importantly, border agents in the Rio Grande sector can’t do their job if they must babysit 8,000 people.
“The longer illegal aliens remain in custody, the harder it can become to sustain our operations but housing the migrants in these tents is the default solution,” said Rio Grande sector chief Rodolfo Karisch. “This is the reality of what happens when we simply cannot handle the influx of migrants arriving.”
The numbers are “not sustainable,” he said, a refrain from top border officials since March.
Such are the numbers, as The New American has reported, that immigration authorities are simply dumping the illegals into American communities.
Those numbers are driven, partly, by “large groups” of about 100 or more. On Thursday, border agents apprehended 98 illegals in Presidio, although that number is small relative to others. Border agents recently apprehended two groups that brought in more than 600.
Those large groups provide cover for smugglers to get drugs into the country, CBP says, although the agency seizes most drugs at ports of entry.
On Friday, CBP reported, border agents at the Pharr International Bridge in Texas confiscated an $18.5 million shipment of methamphetamine. Agents discovered 384 packages of the drug, weighing 930 pounds, in a tractor-trailer that also carried a shipment of carrots.
In early May, CBP reported, an agent and his drug-sniffing dog uncovered 90 bottles of liquid meth, weighing 118 pounds and worth $4 million, at the Sierra Blanca station. The smuggler carried the drugs in the lower luggage compartment of a passenger bus, the agency reported.
Agents at Laredo, Texas, intercepted two smaller shipments of drugs at the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge over the weekend. On Sunday, they seized 11 packages of cocaine, weighing 28 pounds, concealed in a Honda pickup. On Saturday, they confiscated 24 pounds of what they believe is meth in 35 packages hidden in a Honda Accord.
Total value: $703,153.
On Friday at the World Trade Bridge in Laredo, CBP reported, they seized 165 bundles of suspected marijuana, weighing nearly 4,000 pounds and worth $783,426.
Also on Friday, border agents at Calexico, California, arrested an American citizen trying to smuggle two Mexican illegals into the country. They were packed into the storage compartment of a minivan.
Photo of migrant housing tent in Texas: AP Images