EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – In an update to a story KTSM first brought you over the weekend, officials with the El Paso Sector Border Patrol confirmed that a vehicle packed with migrants who crossed the border illegally, made their way into an Upper Valley neighborhood.
According to Carlos Rivera, it happened about 10:30 a.m. on October 16. Rivera said that agents who were assigned to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol Station’s Anti-Smuggling Unit (ASU) saw several migrants come out of the desert and get into a blue SUV.
Rivera said ASU agents followed the SUV while calling for back up. As agents were following the SUV it came to an abrupt stop on it’s own on Linda Avenue, and everyone inside the SUV jumped out and ran into the nearby neighborhood.
After a short search, agents were able to apprehend a total of six migrants, including the driver and an unaccompanied child. After further investigation, Border Patrol discovered that all of the people detained were in the county illegally and did not have proper immigration documentation.
According to Rivera, four migrants were from Mexico, including the driver, and two were from Bolivia.
The vehicle was seized, the driver charged with Conspiracy to transport, and is being held at the Otero County Detention Facility.
Officials add that the unaccompanied minor was transferred to the El Paso Sector Centralized Processing Center and will be processed accordingly. The remaining migrants were expelled under Title 42.
Rivera added that the area where the migrants were spotted is commonly used by the cartels to smuggle illegal migrants into the United States.
***Original Story 10/17/21***
Residents of a quiet neighborhood in El Paso’s Upper Valley described a chaotic scene as numerous Border Patrol agents swarmed the area, chasing two vehicles that were packed with migrants who illegally crossed the border.
KTSM obtained exclusive video of the scene that happened at about 10 a.m. Saturday near the intersection of Meadowlark Drive and Linda Avenue. The neighborhood is located by the El Paso Country Club.
Residents told KTSM that they heard a helicopter hovering low, so they went outside to see what was going on. That’s when they say they saw two cars being chased by Border Patrol agents pulled into a random driveway. After the vehicles stopped, witnesses say they saw approximately 10 migrants run from the vehicles and scatter around the neighborhood.
According to witnesses, six of the migrants were apprehended and four escaped into the neighborhood.
Border Patrol searched for the migrants on foot but they got away. Border agents told KTSM they could not comment any further as the investigation is ongoing.
One resident said that he has not seen this type of incident happen in his neighborhood in 23 years.
According to the Border Patrol, one of the busiest sectors along the U.S.-Mexico border is the El Paso sector, saying it’s on track to break a record-high for encounters. Not counting September, agents in the El Paso Sector encountered more than 176,000 migrants in the Fiscal Year 2021, which began Oct. 1, 2020, ended on Sept. 30, 2021, but whose data for September has yet to be released.
From Oct. 1-Aug. 31 of FY21, border agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector encountered just under 494,000 migrants. Border Patrol agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers apprehended more than 1.5 million migrants during the same period along the entire southern border.
CBP usually releases monthly border-encounter data on the third week of the following month.