The official figure is simply half of the tale.
There were a total of 239,416 border apprehensions in May, including some who attempted to cross multiple times, and 177,793 distinct individuals apprehended.
During a ride-along trip to the Rio Grande Valley border sector, agents Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council for the Rio Grande Valley, and agent Juan Hernandez, a union official, told DailyMail.com that roughly double that number really attempt to enter the border.
‘We’re lucky if we have a 50% apprehension rate,’ Cabrera added.
The official figure excludes ‘gotaways,’ individuals who noticed agents but were unable to apprehend, and those who cross without interacting with border agents in low-security areas.
With four months left in fiscal year 2022, Chris Olivarez, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for the South Texas enforcement region, revealed that law had counted 400,000 getaways thus far. They counted 390,000 gotaways in fiscal year 2021.
‘The government, the Border Patrol, they’re really adept at making statistics up,’ Hernandez continued. “Oh, there were 1,000 apprehensions and 13 getaways,” they say some days. ‘There’s no way there were only 13 getaways,’ says the narrator.
Border agents divide border crossers into four categories: gotaways, who surrender to authorities without a fight in the hopes of having their asylum claims approved, ‘runners,’ who try to outrun agents but are apprehended, and ‘turnbacks,’ who become scared and return to Mexico after being apprehended.
As she was being detained by agents, Amy, a 14-year-old girl, informed DailyMail.com, border officials, and GOP members of the House Economic Subcommittee that her parents had sent her to travel for two months from El Salvador to come to the border. She was fluent in English, having spent five years in the United States until her family was forced to return home owing to ‘visa issues.’
Amy, who appeared unaffected by her perilous trek, explained that she had been traveling with her cousin but that they had become separated along the way. She was unconcerned because she knew they’d be reunited at her aunt’s house in Tennessee once they’d been processed.
Amy said she had not traveled with a explorer but had found other migrants to walk with on the route, coming up to agents in a group of around 12, largely unaccompanied children and about three adults, clutching her birth document, a phone, and a charger. ‘Babies got separated from their mothers along the road,’ she explained.
‘If you think about it, her childhood has already passed her by,’ Hernandez added. Cabrera pointed to a location where he recently witnessed a 9-year-old boy die of heat exhaustion – an occurrence he said is not unusual.
Some of the children they encountered were brought to the border with Plan B birth control attached to their bodies, expecting to be raped along the way, according to the agents.
Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., told DailyMail.com that if the left actually cared about these kids, they’d be here with us.
The Democrats on the Select Committee on Economic Disparity joined Republicans for the first congressional hearing at the southern border this Congress on Friday morning, although the focus was on the community’s infrastructural needs.
‘What fascinates me is that they want to speak about infrastructure,’ said Rep. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma. ‘We’re here at the border, and they want to talk about infrastructure.’
‘It’s bad that we’re supporting it by asking them to come over here any way they can,’ Cabrera added. The Biden administration frequently urges migrants against making the perilous journey north, but parents know that their children will not be turned away if they send them.
‘We’ve discovered two-year-olds, three-year-olds, five-year-olds, and nine-year-olds dead from exposure in the brush.’ What is an acceptable amount of people?’ Hernandez was questioned.
According to Hernandez and Cabrera, a border agent must accompany each youngster who requires medical attention to the hospital and wait for them to be seen.
‘We shouldn’t,’ he added, ‘but we get volunteered for everything.’ ‘If you have ten children that need to be taken to the hospital, you must send ten agents.’ ‘If you have 15 agents in the field, 10 of them will be gone,’ Cabrera continued.
‘When our primary work is gone, we have to babysit, and that’s where a lot of our difficulties arise,’ Hernandez explained. ‘They enjoy the work, but when you take them in to babysit at the hospital or change Pampers, it’s like, ‘I didn’t sign up for that Border Patrol description.’
Following the identification of the children’s presumed relatives, they are placed aboard flights and sent on their journey.
Border officers said that a DNA test is frequently sent to a lab to prove a relationship through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), but the results are never returned.
Children are sent on their way with no proof that the person they are staying with is related to them in any way.
‘If they test them, they’re liable if it turns out to be fraudulent,’ said Dominic Violante, McAllen’s main Border Patrol union leader. ‘They’d rather hide their heads in the sand,’ says the narrator.
Sandra, from El Salvador, arrived with her two sons, carrying just documents to prove she was a survivor of domestic abuse for her asylum application.
Another man was discovered carrying a sleeping infant in his arms. ‘Who knows whether that’s his,’ one agent speculated. ‘He may be using him to get through and avoid being processed under Title 42.’
The Rio Grande Valley sector of the Border Patrol has a budget allocation of around 3,500 agents. They are currently working with a staff of 2,000-2,2000 people.
And it’s not only staff that’s being stretched; agents say their facilities are frequently working at more than ten times their capacity.
‘We’ll have a facility that’s 230 people, we’ll have literally 3,000 people in there. And they’ll say we can’t let the media in because of Covid protocols,’ he said.
Agents are retiring in record numbers, according to Hernandez and Cabrera, in part due to the renewing of catch-and-release practices under the Biden administration.
‘We’re by ourselves out here so I’m out here chasing people through the brush running twisting an ankle catching people then they’re releasing them,’ said Hernandez.
‘So they’re like, “Thank you for doing all that but we’re going to release them.” It’s like what? I just twisted my ankle and my back and worker’s comp won’t cover you, you know all that stuff.’
‘Agents are getting tired, agents are retiring or quitting or switching over because at this moment they don’t feel that we get treated correctly,’ he said.
‘Guys are leaving as soon as they’re eligible, I’ve never seen it before,’ said Cabrera.
Border agents are eligible for retirement at age 50, but historically have aged out at 57 or sometimes longer.
‘Now guys are going the first day they’re eligible they’re out,’ Cabrera said.
At the height of the Haitian migrant crisis last year, viral photographs of horse-riding border agents swinging their whips near or at migrants sparked outrage all the way up to President Biden, who promised at the time that he would’make them pay.’
Meanwhile, Border Patrol authorities stated the agents involved were likely swinging their whips to keep their horses under control.
According to a report by Fox News earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security is ready to discipline the agents involved.
Cabrera added, ‘I think it’s rubbish.’ ‘With the president screaming “you’re going to pay,” I don’t think they had a chance at a fair hearing.’
‘If they did anything – which I doubt – I believe they’ve already received enough punishment.’ ‘I believe they’ve already been disciplined enough.’
‘That’s how you work a working horse,’ Cabrera continued. This isn’t the sort of thing you’d see in England, where folks wear weird hats and ride horses. It’s a distinct kind of horseback riding.’
While federal border officers complain that their resources are being stretched thin, Texas has spent $2 billion on border security, largely through Operation Lonestar, a project launched by Gov. Greg Abbott in March 2021 in response to the Biden administration’s lack of action.
Border agents were backed up by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the National Guard, however some agents complained that their time on the deployment was being wasted due to the frantic deployment and lack of border authority.
Around 1,600 of the state’s 3,000 DPS officers have been dispatched to the border. About 10,000 National Guard personnel were number at its peak, although that is fluctuating now that agents have less authority.
The federal government is responsible for securing the US border. DPS and the National Guard do not have the same processing authority as Border Patrol, so if they come across migrants, they must keep them until CBP officials arrive.
However, in some areas, those agents have initiated a criminal trespassing effort, where they arrest persons who cross illegally on private property for criminal trespassing rather than unlawful crossing. To do so, you’ll need to enlist the help of prosecutors and the county court, as well as property owners who can file charges.
So far, one conviction has resulted from such attempts.