Texas Border Patrol Agents Arrest 6 in Failed Human Smuggling Attempt

November 26, 2019 Updated: November 26, 2019

U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas arrested six people on Nov. 19 as they attempted to illegally enter the country, according to officials.

A statement issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday said the incident occurred at approximately 10 a.m. at the Eagle Pass South Station.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers requested Border Patrol assistance with a vehicle stop on Farm to Market Road 1021, near El Indio.

When border patrol agents arrived, they discovered five individuals hiding in the sleeping quarters of a 2000 Kenworth tractor-trailer and conducted a brief immigration inspection.

It was subsequently determined that all five individuals, ranging from age 22 to 42, were illegally present in the United States.

The statement says that the individuals, who had come from Honduras, Guatemala, and Ecuador, will now be processed in accordance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines.

Meanwhile, the driver of the vehicle, a 31-year-old male from Eagle Pass, faces prosecution for alien smuggling, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

“Partnering with our local, state, and federal partners is a vital component of our strategy. This incident demonstrates our resolve and readiness to continue our efforts to protect the American people,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent, Raul L. Ortiz.

It is estimated that the number of undocumented immigrants living in the United States ranges from 10.5 million to 12 million, or approximately 3.2-3.6 percent of the population, according to Brookings.

However, the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico has recently fallen to less than half of the undocumented population for the first time since 1990.

Illegal border crossings have also significantly declined in the latter part of this year, down from a high of 144,000 in May to 52,000 in September, which is credited partly to new asylum restrictions, and also Mexico tightening its border.

Since stepping into office, President Trump has been vocal in his criticism of immigration laws on Twitter and in numerous speeches. He has previously said that people who enter the United States illegally should be sent back to where they came from immediately.

Earlier this year, his administration enacted the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which requires asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their claims are processed.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said thousands of migrants are now voluntarily returning home, and more than 55,000 aliens have since returned to Mexico.

It added that the MPP has proven to be an “indispensable tool in addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border and restoring integrity to the immigration system.”

Earlier this week, the Trump administration ordered rangers from national parks around the country to travel to the United States-Mexico border to help assist in the fight against illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

According to USA Today, the president and his staff said the rangers provide valuable assistance to border guards facing a steady stream of migrants trying to enter the United States.

The president is utilizing existing resources to tighten borders while Congress refuses to fund his United States-Mexico border wall plan, the publication says.

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