Rio Grande Valley becomes hotspot for apprehensions
Fri, 21 Jun 2013 00:13:18 GMT —
Living in the Rio Grande Valley, it TMs hard to ignore the constant battle between human smugglers and law enforcement.
The area has seen an increase in migrant crossing and now has the highest number of apprehensions on the U.S.-Mexico border.
With four months left in the fiscal year the Rio Grande Valley sector of Border Patrol has taken in more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants.
Unfortunately as the numbers rise, so do the rescues and the deaths, Border Patrol spokesperson Enrique Mendiola said.
Valley apprehension rates surpassed Tucson sector which has seen high rates of migrant crossings over the past decade.
"This is the first time since 1993 that the Rio Grande Valley has seen more apprehensions than the Tucson sector," Mendiola said.
Mendiola said during the height of migrant traffic in the mid-90 TMs the lower valley was hit the hardest.
"Back then we didn't have the technical infrastructure that we have today. We have that border fence that goes from Brownsville to La Joya; we also have cameras in place and technology that was deployed," Mendiola said.
The front has since moved west to the upper valley.
"I think its finding that right combination, we were able to do that in our lower valley, we just have been able to do that in our upper valley," Mendiola said.
The U.S. Senate could produce an immigration reform bill in the coming days that could provide additional border agents and hundreds of miles of fencing along the border.
But until a bill is passed, the fight against human smuggling rests on the shoulders of border agents and local law enforcement.
We continue to see that collaboration between federal, state and local; we leverage off each other, Mendiola said.