United States Customs and Border Protection reportedly apprehended almost two dozen unlawful migrants with criminal records in their home countries related to sexual offenses in less than two months.
Acting Chief Patrol Agent Juan G. Bernal posted on social media earlier this week that border patrol agents from the Del Rio Sector apprehended 21 unlawful migrants who are convicted sex offenders.
“Due to the hard work and dedication of our agents, these dangerous individuals were not able to enter our country. Great work!” Bernal added in the post.
The Del Rio Sector is one of the largest in the state, spanning 55,063 square miles and reaching 300 miles into Texas from the U.S.-Mexico border. The area encapsulates 47 counties.
These arrests follow a report from CBP registering the highest number of apprehensions of “criminal noncitizens” since fiscal year 2017, with 15,267 apprehensions being reported by the agency in fiscal year 2023.
CBP defines criminal noncitizens as individuals “who have been convicted of one or more crimes, whether in the United States or abroad, prior to interdiction by the U.S. Border Patrol; it does not include convictions for conduct that is not deemed criminal by the United States.”
These fiscal year 2023 numbers included 284 apprehensions of those who had been convicted of sex crimes, which is significantly higher than the 137 apprehensions of those convicted of sex crimes in fiscal year 2017.
The arrests reported by Bernal come amid a growing crisis at the border, as swathes of unlawful migrants continue to enter the U.S.
In an attempt to manage the number of arrivals of unlawful migrants, Gov. Greg Abbott has taken action via Operation Lone Star and the busing of unlawful migrants to sanctuary cities across the country.
Abbott reported on Wednesday that Texas has bused roughly 70,000 unlawful migrants to sanctuary cities since the program began in April 2022.
Similarly, Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas, Jr. responded to the crisis in September by issuing an emergency declaration due to the vast number of unlawful migrants. This declaration allows the city to seek assistance from the state and federal governments.