Border Agents Snag Over 400 Illegals In Span of 5 Minutes

March 20, 2019 Updated: March 20, 2019

Border patrol agents in Texas apprehended over 400 illegal aliens in the span of just five minutes.

“U.S. Border Patrol agents working in El Paso apprehended two large groups of illegal immigrants consisting of over 400 people within five minutes,” said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in a statement.

CPB said agents near the wall just west of Bowie High School in El Paso came across a group of 194 illegals around 2:45 a.m. on March 19. Just five minutes later, agents apprehended a second group of 245 individuals near downtown El Paso.

“These groups, like many others before, are comprised primarily of Central American families and unaccompanied juveniles,” CBP said.

groups of illegal aliens
U.S. Border Patrol agents detained two large groups of illegal immigrants consisting of over 400 people within five minutes in the El Paso area on March 19, 2019. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Officials added that, all told, more than 430 people had been taken in near the El Paso Sector Border Patrol.

“These numbers continue to stretch the resources available to the U.S. Border Patrol to deal with this influx and the challenges that come with it,” CBP officials said.

The El Paso port of entry averages 570 apprehensions each day.

Illegal Border Crossings Could Hit 1 Million

According to earlier Epoch Times reporting, illegal border crossings are on track to reach nearly a million this year. In February alone, 66,000 people crossed the border illegally, according to border patrol. An additional 10,000 were detained after presenting at a port of entry without proper paperwork.

Large groups of more than 100 migrants crossing the border illegally are a new trend.

More than 70 such large groups have been apprehended by Border Patrol so far this fiscal year—compared to 13 such large groups in all of fiscal 2018.

Million Illegals Ordered Deported May Wait Years for Removal

There were more than a million illegal aliens with final orders of removal in the country as of June 2, 2018, according to data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), an anti-mass-migration advocacy law firm.

Marlene Castro, supervisory Border Patrol agent, speaks to a group of unaccompanied minors and also two men who crossed the Rio Grande River from Mexico into the United States in Hidalgo County, Texas, on May 26, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

While there are at least 11 million, and perhaps many more, illegal immigrants in the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) only arrests and deports a small percentage of them—less than 260,000 people in fiscal 2018 (pdf).

This means even when a person is ordered to be deported, it would still take ICE about four years, on average, to actually remove that person from the United States.

Pentagon Finds $12.8 Billion for Border Wall

The Department of Defense has identified $12.8 billion in funds from projects that can be reallocated to the construction of the U.S.–Mexico border wall.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) released a spreadsheet from the Pentagon on March 18 that lists military construction projects from which funds can be taken for the construction of a border wall.

An aerial view of the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on Aug. 30, 2018. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on the southwest border in February and ordered the Pentagon to shift $3.6 billion from the military construction budget to build the wall.

San Diego Border Patrol agent Tekae Michael at the eastern end of the U.S.-Mexico border barrier in Otay Mesa, San Diego, on July 12, 2017. The section of border wall was first constructed in 1991 to prevent vehicles from illegal crossings. (Joshua Philipp/The Epoch Times)

The Pentagon list represents an initial step in the vetting process to decide which projects’ funds might be tapped for the wall.

Congress passed a resolution last week to end Trump’s emergency declaration, but the president issued his first veto to block it. A dozen Republican senators defied Trump on the termination vote. The declaration also faces legal challenges, though the White House is confident it will prevail.

Trump declared a national emergency after Democrats in Congress blocked all efforts to approve $5.7 billion for a border wall requested by the Department of Homeland Security. Congress appropriated $1.4 billion for border wall construction—far short of Trump’s request.

In addition to shifting $3.6 billion by using the emergency declaration, Trump ordered the reallocation of an additional $3.1 billion from the Treasury and Defense departments, which did not require an emergency declaration.

Epoch Times staff writers Charlotte Cuthbertson, Ivan Pentchoukov, and Peter Svab contributed to this report.

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