Local News

Oct 31, 2013 5:00 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

Chinese Illegal Immigrants Account for Most Border Traffic

FALFURRIAS - As we've reported, the members of the prostitution ring in Rockport were Chinese immigrants, and you may be surprised to know that Chinese immigrants are actually more common in South Texas than you might think.

In the past few months, we've done a couple special reports with the Texas Border Volunteers, a group of everyday citizens helping the Border Patrol monitor the border.

In our time covering them, we were surprised to find out that most immigrants they find aren't Hispanic. In fact, the most common group is Chinese.

To give you an idea of just how many Chinese come through Brooks County, we'll reference the distress beacons you find in the ranch lands surrounding the Falfurrias checkpoint.

The help message on those beacons is in English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.

Border volunteer Mick Vickers has known for a long time that Hispanic immigrants are not the most common group that comes across the border.

"The Chinese, I'd say, are the top of the list," Vickers says.

"A few years back, we had a coyote leading a group of 33 individuals," he added.

The Border Volunteers try to help the illegal immigrants they find if they can, before contacting the Border Patrol.

Vickers says the prostitution ring in Rockport doesn't surprise him.

"We know they have to pay a fee to be brought through here illegally. 40 to 50 thousand dollars. They have to pay that fee somehow, and there's no question in my mind they're probably indentured servants for a long period of time," he says.

According to a recent study by the State Legislature, human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the nation.

An estimated 20,000 people fall into the hands of human traffickers every year.

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