Local News

Apr 3, 2014 6:29 PM

Border Patrol Beefs Up Presence in South Texas

BROWNSVILLE - An additional 100 Border Patrol agents have been reassigned from California and Arizona to help combat criminal organizations operating in south Texas.

The shift in personnel adds to agents already moved from the Laredo Sector of Border Patrol operations needed to assist in the capture of suspects already identified by authorities.

"The subjects we've identified are key players in the illicit networks that facilitate the majority of illegal cross-border activity in the area," CBP South Texas Commander Robert L. Harris said. "These groups prey on illegal aliens by extorting money, confining them in deplorable conditions, and often physically and sexually assaulting them."

The Associated Press reports the arrests of immigrants who have entered the U.S. illegally have fallen or stabilized on other parts of the border, but they've soared in South Texas, driven in large part by immigrants from Central America.

Nearly 3,100 Border Patrol agents were assigned to the Rio Grande Valley last fiscal year, about 1,000 fewer than the Tucson, Ariz., sector, even though the Texas sector sprinted past Tucson last year in total arrests.

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