Border Patrol agents have caught a slew of hardened criminals at the border within a few days in the Rio Grande Valley Sector just as officials are raising concerns about the number of illegal immigrants getting past overwhelmed agents.
In a release, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said agents on Monday found a previously deported MS-13 gang member being smuggled in as part of a group of 67 migrants.
MS-13, also called Mara Salvatrucha, was set up in Los Angeles by Central American immigrants and has expanded across the continent, particularly in Northern Triangle countries like El Salvador and Guatemala. It is known for its particularly horrific and gruesome crimes, and its motto is said to be "mata, viola, controla" — "kill, rape, control."
The same day, agents picked up a Mexican national as part of a marijuana smuggling bust. They discovered he had been arrested for an attempt to commit murder and later convicted and eventually deported.
On Tuesday, agents in McAllen picked up a 24-year-old Salvadoran wanted for homicide in his home country after he was encountered among a group of 35 illegally entering the U.S.
On Wednesday, agents stopped a group of 10 migrants near the Rio Grande. One was a Mexican national with a prior rape conviction for which he served 11 years in prison in Indiana.
On Thursday, agents picked up a Honduran MS-13 gang member with a prior conviction of assault causing bodily harm to a family member. He had been deported multiple times and was one of two MS-13 gang members picked up that day.
Meanwhile, agents in the sector found a Mexican traveling in a group of migrants who had convictions for viewing depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in 2012. Two years later, he was convicted and sentenced for rape of a child.
On Friday, agents picked up two sets of migrants near McAllen, Texas. Among them was a Paisas gang member with a conviction for cruelty to a child and a Honduran with an arrest for homicide in Honduras.
So far in the first five months of FY 2022, there have been 3,662 arrests of migrants with criminal convictions. That’s compared to 10,763 in all of FY 2021 and 2,438 in all of FY 2020.
Per those same sources, there have been more than 300,000 known "gotaways" — migrants who were not apprehended or turned themselves in and who got past agents — since fiscal year 2022 began Oct. 1.
The sources point out that the true number of getaways is likely much higher, because these numbers only account for the ones they know about. The sources told Fox that Del Rio Sector has the most gotaways with about 700 a day, followed by Tucson Sector with over 500 a day.
There were more than 164,000 apprehensions in February, and that number is expected to have risen in March as agents report continued high migrant traffic ahead of the spring and summer months.