Border Patrol agents operating in the Del Rio, Texas, sector said they've encountered significantly more convicted sex offenders who are attempting to illegally cross the U.S.–Mexico border.
Since the start of fiscal year 2021, which began last October, agents have arrested 95 convicted sex offenders apprehended near the border—a 3,166 percent increase over the same time frame during the fiscal year 2020, according to a statement from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on May 26.
Agents arrested 10 sex offenders between May 17 and May 24, shortly after they illegally crossed into the United States, the news release stated. On May 24, two Mexican nationals were arrested with prior convictions, with one having a felony conviction for lewd and lascivious molestation and the other having been convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child—also a felony.
“The majority of these criminals were apprehended in our sector’s most remote areas, attempting to avoid detection by crossing far from populated areas," Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin L. Skero II said. “Our agents’ sign cutting and tracking skills were instrumental in capturing these criminals, preventing them from infiltrating our communities.”
The CBP said that between May 17 and May 23, agents arrested Mexican nationals who were convicted on a number of sex offenses, including "forcible sexual abuse, sexual assault of a child under 14, sexual assault of a child, sexual assault, sexual conduct with a person under 13, and a registered sexual offender."
Two nationals from Honduras were arrested who had felony convictions for statutory rape and second-degree sexual assault of a child, according to Border Patrol.
On May 26, agents assigned to the El Centro, California, sector arrested three individuals who crossed into the United States illegally, each of whom were convicted previously on sex offenses.
"During processing agents discovered that all three men, undocumented individuals, were previously convicted for a sex crime," the CBP stated.
They were previously removed from the United States by an immigration judge, the agency said.
Agents in El Centro have arrested 27 individuals who were either wanted or convicted on sexual offense charges, according to the agency.
President Joe Biden's administration has come under bipartisan fire in recent weeks for what critics have said is a failure to handle the border crisis.
According to data from the CBP, agents witnessed more than 178,000 attempted illegal crossings in April. Meanwhile, a wave of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the border has prompted the administration to open up new Border Patrol and Department of Health and Human Services facilities to house them.