RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The cat-and-mouse game between border patrol authorities and human smugglers is a daily reality in Texas.
Border patrol agents use advanced technology and their knowledge of the areas that groups of undocumented immigrants are directed to use by smugglers to cross into the U.S.
Smugglers keep watch from Mexico soil; their goal is for illegal immigrants to put their feet on U.S. land before they can be turned around by agents. Once immigrants are on U.S. soil, they can claim asylum and begin the formal process.
“A wall would have slowed them down considerably,” according to Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz.
Ortiz estimates there are 850 arrests in the Rio Grande Valley area, making it one of the busiest and congested areas to entry. Ortiz also said that approximately 100 immigrants cross into the U.S. without being detected.
Ortiz and his team have apprehensions every day across the Rio Grande Valley. The immigrants are coming from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador according to data from Homeland Security and border patrol.
Last year, Congress approved $600 million for 33 miles of new border wall for Rio Grande Valley. The bipartisan legislation includes concrete walls and steel posts.
Designs of the border barrier (which were released last September), depicts concrete walls will be used for 25 miles and have a massive height of the already-existing flood levee located in Hidalgo County, and neighbors the Rio Grande.
Directly on top of the concrete walls will be “18-foot steel posts with a 150-foot enforcement zone in front.”
Since October, border patrol officials said more than 100,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended attempting to enter into the U.S. since the beginning of October.
CBP also stated they are on track to apprehend 240,000 immigrants this fiscal year.
Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumna of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to national PACs. Follow her AIM border stories, @MarissaAlisa.