Human smugglers have been transporting migrants into the U.S. illegally in groups of over 100 people, mostly comprised of families and unaccompanied minors, border officials said Thursday.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials encountered three large groups totaling 320 illegal migrants near Edinburg, Texas, over a two-day span, according to the agency. Officials apprehended 229 family members, 86 unaccompanied migrant minors and five single adults.
“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.
Officials received several reports of large migrant groups attempting to cross the Rio Grande River illegally Monday morning and Tuesday evening, CBP reported. The illegal migrants were found to be from Central American countries including Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador while some of the migrants traveled from the United Kingdom.
“USBP agents apprehended three large groups totaling 320 migrants in just two days,” CBP Rio Grande Valley Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings said. “This fiscal year, RGV Sector agents have encountered 44 groups of 100 or more people. The majority of these large groups are composed of family members and unaccompanied children.”
USBP agents apprehended three large groups totaling 320 migrants in just two days.
This fiscal year, RGV Sector agents have encountered 44 groups of 100 or more people. The majority of these large groups are composed of family members and unaccompanied children. pic.twitter.com/gehZmyIYWl
— Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings (@USBPChiefRGV) April 22, 2021
“The U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Rio Grande Valley Sector will continue to safeguard the nation and community against these criminal elements,” the press release said.
CBP officials encountered over 172,000 migrants in March including nearly 19,000 unaccompanied minors and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the U.S. is on track to encounter more migrants in 2021 than in the last 20 years.
CBP did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.