While intercepting illegal border crossers, Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley recently arrested three convicted sex offenders and a gang member, the agency said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in an April 12 statement that, within a period of 72 hours last week, agents carrying out enforcement duties along the border arrested an MS-13 gang member and three sexual predators, including one who had been convicted for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14.
On Friday morning, Border Patrol agents arrested a man from El Salvador near Brownsville, Texas, later identified as Nelson Guzman-Gomez. A record check revealed a conviction in Harris County, Texas, for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 years old, a crime for which he had been sentenced to five years in prison.
Later that same day, agents apprehended a group of 14 illegal immigrants near Hidalgo, Texas. One of the individuals in the group, a man from Honduras, had a prior arrest in New York in 2018, on charges of criminal sexual conduct, for which he received a sentence of 15 months behind bars. CBP noted that traveling with group was an unaccompanied child.
On Saturday, agents encountered an individual trying to circumvent the checkpoint on a ranch near Falfurrias, Texas, and took him into custody. Records later revealed the individual had been arrested for aggravated sexual assault in New Jersey, for which he received a sentence of nine years in jail.
Agents also encountered an individual from El Salvador along the border, with records showing he is a member of the MS-13 gang.
“Even with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, human smugglers continue to try these brazen attempts with zero regard for the lives they endanger nor to the health of the citizens of our great nation,” CBP said in a statement.
Border encounters—a widely used but imperfect gauge that tells how many times U.S. authorities came across people crossing the border into the United States illegally—have soared during President Joe Biden’s first months in office. Encounters totaled more than 172,000 in March, up from about 100,000 the previous month and the highest since March 2001.
In another alarming statistic, nearly 19,000 children traveling alone were stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border in March, smashing previous highs set during periods of heavy child migration in 2014 and 2019.
Encounters don’t tell the full story, however, as they don’t reflect the number of people who manage to cross the border without getting caught. A Customs and Border Protection official said on April 5 that well over 100,000 illegal border crossers have evaded capture by Border Patrol agents this year, adding to the alarm already raised around the growing number of monthly apprehensions.
Deputy Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz told Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom” that the agency has resources at its disposal allowing estimates of “how many people are actually getting away from us,” adding that so far in 2021, this figure stands at “way over 100,000 people.”
Separately, Ortiz earlier estimated that more than a million illegal immigrants would arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021.
“We’re already starting to see some higher days of 6,000-plus apprehensions,” Ortiz told reporters on March 30. “So I fully expect our Border Patrol agents to encounter over a million people this year.”
While the Biden administration has said the border isn’t open, Biden reversed or altered a number of key Trump era provisions, which contributed to the surge, experts have told The Epoch Times.
In dozens of interviews with The Associated Press over the past two weeks, migrants generally said circumstances in Central America drove them to leave their homes and set out for the United States. When asked about Biden, nearly all said his relatively pro-immigration positions influenced their thinking.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Reprinted with Permission from - The Epoch Times by - Tom Ozimek
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