CBP said in a statement that officials with the Laredo Sector Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, and Laredo Police Department joined forces to shut down the stash house that was being guarded by smugglers in south Laredo.
“Imagine having to share inhumane living conditions with over 100 people! Harsh Reality look inside a #stashhouse discovered today by #USBP Laredo Sector!” CBP South Texas wrote on Twitter, sharing footage taken by officials at the scene.
— CBP South Texas (@CBPSouthTexas) June 10, 2021
The illegal aliens were found to be from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. All individuals were taken into custody for further investigation and were medically screened, the agency said.
CBP said that the smuggling and housing of large groups of individuals in stash houses by criminal groups hasn’t slowed despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Stash house incidents such as this pose a threat not only to the people exploited by human smuggling but also to the people and safety of our Nation,” the agency said in its press release.
CBP has since the start of the fiscal year shut down nearly 200 stash houses and arrested more than 4,000 illegal immigrants, local NBC affiliate KGNS reported.
The number of illegal crossings at the southern border has spiked since President Joe Biden took office on Jan. 20. For the month of May, border patrol agents apprehended 180,034 individuals illegally entering the United States—the highest number seen in a single month in more than two decades.
Republican lawmakers have long argued that the burgeoning crisis is a result of Biden’s move to overturn several Trump-era immigration policies that helped curbed the flow of illegal border crossings. This includes his predecessor’s cornerstone Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), which effectively ended the problematic “catch and release” policy, significantly stemming the surge of illegal immigrants that were seen at the southern border in 2019. The MPP, which was on pause, was officially terminated on June 1.
In a return to the Obama-era policies that facilitate “catch-and-release,” the Biden administration is again releasing unaccompanied minors into the country. The lawmakers argue that Biden’s act has been interpreted as a signal to prospective illegal immigrants that they will be able to enter the United States.
The Biden administration, on the other hand, has sought to shift the blame on former President Donald Trump’s administration, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas previously saying that the Trump administration had “dismantled the orderly, humane, and efficient way of allowing children to make their claims under United States law in their own country.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, on June 10 announced plans for the state to build its own wall along the southern border and to arrest individuals who illegally enter. The governor said more details will be released next week.
“We’re going to start making arrests—sending a message to anyone thinking about coming here—you’re not getting a free pass. You’re getting a straight pass to a jail cell,” he wrote on Twitter.
Janita Kan contributed to this report.