New Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Chief delivers State of the Border address
Hundreds gathered to hear from the new Border Patrol Chief for the Rio Grande Valley, Rodolfo 'Rudy' Karisch.
Karisch addressed agents, officers, community leaders and land owners Friday morning during his State of the Border address at the Mission Event Center, where he spoke about the latest on border issues.
"We've even had over 1,000 apprehensions in a day and that's problematic because I've had to pull people out of the line, into processing, hospital runs, other things when they should actually be at the border," said Karisch.
Chief Karisch is the former Chief Patrol Agent of the Tucson Sector and the Del Rio Sector as well as Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Professional Responsibility for Customs and Border Protection.
Karisch introduced a solution to the increase in illegal crossings, saying here in the Rio Grande Valley a caravan forms every two weeks.
"If they truly have an asylum or credible fear claim that they walk into a U.S. Embassy somewhere in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and then we will arrange how to get them here."
Agents from stations throughout the Valley, like Hector Escamilla, spoke as well. Escamilla is in charge of the Rio Grande City station which apprehends the most marijuana seizures.
"The cartels use tactics against us with all these unaccompanied children, huge family units, coming up by the hundreds at a time and it is a huge challenge for us," said Escamilla.
Landowners affected by a border wall and community leaders were invited to ask questions to the newly selected chief.
At least five people were chosen to voice their opinion and share their thoughts with Karisch.
Scott Nichol, who is part of the Sierra Club, which opposes the border wall, was hoping to get his question answered, but was not selected.
"They kind of ignored me when I stood up to ask a question. What I wanted to ask the chief about is the wall planned for Starr County," said Nichol.
Nichol says it's possible the proposed border wall would rip through people's property.
Chief Karisch told CBS 4 land continues to be surveyed and there isn't a definite location for a border wall at this time.
Machinery and materials for a wall have already made their way to the Valley.
Karisch adds Border Patrol in the RGV has a strong relationship with Mexican officials and work together to secure the border.