As apprehensions of Central American illegal migrants at the border have gone down this summer and fall, Border Patrol agents are seeing an increase in the smuggling of other nationalities, including Chinese.
Last week, Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents, accompanied by Breitbart News staffers, arrested three Chinese migrants who had just crossed the Rio Grande near Madero, Texas. The riverine agents on boat patrol received a call that a group had been spotted by surveillance cameras crossing the river. The agents tracked the migrants from the point they left their raft on the U.S. side and after they were picked up by a smuggler in an SUV on the levee road. The migrants–all Chinese, two men and one woman–and the smuggler, a Mexican-American, were soon stopped and taken into custody.
The agents told Breitbart News that Chinese illegals are often apprehended in their sector.
That sector is not alone. Back in September, at the other end of the state, in the Big Bend Sector near Marfa, Texas, the Border Patrol arrested 10 Chinese nationals. After receiving a call for assistance from the Presidio County Sheriff’s department, agents found the 10 Chinese hiding inside a shack at a rural cemetery.
A November 15 report by KRQE television in Albuquerque explained that human and drug smuggling cartels have shifted their focus recently from Central American migrants to smuggling Chinese and other nationalities. Many of these smuggling operations combine migrant smuggling with the smuggling of narcotics, including such drugs as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and fentanyl, a dangerous opioid often produced in China and illegally exported to the U.S.
Drug seizures at the Southwest border were up 45 percent in October.
A federal agent told KRQE that the smuggling of Chinese nationals are sophisticated transnational cartel operations where migrants pay up to $25,000 per individual to be brought into Mexico. At that point, smaller, regional gangs take over to get the migrants into the U.S.
For more, see Breitbart News.