Agents apprehended more than 52,000 migrants who illegally crossed the Mexican border into the Texas-based Del Rio Sector in August, according to a source within U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This is an increase over the record-setting number of apprehensions set in July in what has become the nation’s busiest Border Patrol sector.
A source operating under the umbrella of CBP told Breitbart Texas that agents in the Del Rio Sector apprehended nearly 1,700 migrants per day in August. This raised the number of migrants apprehended in the sector from 50,000 in July to more than 52,000 in August — an increase of four percent.
In August 2021, Del Rio Sector agents apprehended 32,362 migrants including more than 18,000 single adults, 13,000 unaccompanied minors, and 800 family units. The August 2022 apprehensions represent an increase of approximately 63 percent over the same month in 2021.
The dangerous crossings of migrants across the Rio Grande into Eagle Pass and Del Rio, Texas, led to the deaths of dozens of migrants in August.
Late in August, a three-year-old boy and his three-month-old brother drowned after being swept away from their parents while crossing the river near Eagle Pass, Breitbart Texas reported.
The death of the toddler and near-drowning of the infant follows reports from Del Rio Sector officials of six other drowning deaths during a five-day period ending on August 20, Breitbart Texas reported. Agents tell Breitbart they are seeing death rates exceeding one per day for extended periods of time.
The number of migrants who die while crossing or shortly after crossing the border near Eagle Pass caused a local funeral home to stop accepting migrant remains, Breitbart reported.
In response to the spike in migrant crossings and deaths in the Eagle Pass area, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and National Guard soldiers began heavy patrols on the Rio Grande.
The banks of the Rio Grande were flush with Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas Army National Guard posted locally. Simultaneously, soldiers in patrol boats traversed the Rio Grande hoping to deflect migrant crossings away from the city. The show of force appeared to push the larger migrant groups away, if only temporarily.
The massive number of migrants crossing into the Del Rio Sector also led to overcrowding in detention facilities. This led to the shutdown of border security field operations from time to time and Border Patrol officials pulled agents off the line to process, care for, and transport migrants became a priority.
Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agents Jason D. Owens appeared to respond to this article regarding the shutdowns during his weekend recap report the following week.
“When we have the large number of people in custody that puts us over our established capacity, we do have to collapse down some operations temporarily to decompress what we’re holding in custody,” Owens stated.
This also removes agents from the border who could assist in preventing the drowning deaths of migrants in the Rio Grande or in the timely recovery of the bodies of drowned migrants.
On September 1, nine more migrants drowned as a large group of more than 50 attempted to cross the rain-swollen Rio Grande. The migrants reported many were swept away.
The massive number of crossings into the Del Rio Sector appears to be continuing in September, the source told Breitbart.
As an example, Eagle Pass agents apprehended a large group of approximately 300 migrants who crossed on Saturday morning.