(KTSM) – Border Patrol agents along the U.S. / Mexico border continue to see record-setting numbers of migrants arriving at the southern border. One of the busiest sectors along the border is the El Paso sector where agents say they see upwards of 600 migrants cross each day. In addition, in fiscal year 2021 through August 31, they’ve made more than 176,000 apprehensions.
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KTSM was given exclusive access to ride along with agents on one of their patrols to see firsthand the dangers and challenges they face on a daily basis.
The day started long before the sun came out, as soon as the crew loaded up into the Border Patrol vehicle the radio was buzzing with activity.
Eleven migrants were discovered in the Santa Teresa Station after crossing over Mount Cristo Rey. When KTSM arrived, the migrants had already taken out their shoestrings, taken off their belts and handed over their personal belongings to the first responding agents. Those items, according to Border Patrol are taken so the migrants cannot harm themselves or others. They are stored with identification numbers and given back to the migrants when they are expelled under Title 42.
Moments later another call came in. Three people were spotted scaling down the mountain. When our responding vehicle arrived, one of the people ran back up the side of the steep ravine, most likely a smuggler according to Border Patrol.
The traffic stayed steady for most of the morning. In one encounter, agents sprung into action to render aid to a woman who collapsed in the field. Agents speculating it was a combination of hydration and exhaustion.
The El Paso sector covers 264 border miles and according to Border Patrol, the Santa Teresa station is the busiest station in the entire sector. They said they’re seeing a large number of migrants coming from Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico – adding that the largest numbers come in from Ecuador and Mexico.
Tracking down migrants who have illegally crossed into the U.S. Certain areas can be tough. However, Border Patrol agents work 24/7 rain or shine and in some of the roughest terrains. Like on the outskirts of El Paso where steep hills, large rocks and loose gravel, they say, make apprehensions dangerous for everyone involved.
Agent Baca and Agent Morales said that even though they have a heart for the migrants that are crossing the border, they are focused on keeping America safe saying border security is National Security.