'Illegal immigration' on the rise--numbers not as high as mid-90's
Ray Molina told Action 4 News that he sleeps with a gun by his bedside. He said he is worried of who might walk through his front door in the middle of the night.
Molina lives on the south side of Rio Grande City--his backyard is a stone's throw from the Rio Grande.
"The only thing we have wrong here is the people coming in from Mexico," Molina started. "At night they come through your yard---there is something wrong with the law."
Monlia said it is a growing problem and Border Patrol agents agree.
"Smugglers are trying to lure these people in by telling them there is a possibility they can be legalized once they get here," Border Patrol Spokesman Henry Mendiola explained. "We know that is nowhere near the truth. There are different things that are driving the immigration at this point."
Mendiola said, so far this year, they have busted 120 stash houses and arrested 3,000 people in connection to those homes. But those number do not compare to the mid-90's--when agents arrested 250,000 people who made their way into the U.S. illegally---right here in the Rio Grande Valley.
"Even though numbers are up right now for the Rio Grande Valley Sector, they don't reach the high water marks that we saw in the mid-90's."
The influx not only brings in more immigrants and places them in dangerous situations and deplorable conditions, it could lead to more serious crimes being committed.
"We come across a lot of incidents where there are a lot of young females anywhere from 13 to 17 years of age being smuggled here," San Juan Sergeant Rudy Luna said. "It concerns us that they're going to be used for sexual activities, prostitution, and so forth."
Luna said they have seen their share of human trafficking cases in the past---it is a problem he does not foresee slowing down.
"We're going to see an increase--I can tell you that right now."