RIO GRANDE VALLEY — Exclusive photos taken by the Daily Caller News Foundation show law enforcement officials encountering hundreds of illegal migrants on two separate occasions in the Rio Grande Valley area of south Texas Wednesday.
A handful of Hidalgo County Constable officials encountered around 130 illegal migrants crossing the Rio Grande River into Rincon Village near McAllen, Texas, Wednesday evening. In a separate incident in the early hours of Thursday morning, over 200 illegal migrants approached law enforcement officials, including two Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, Texas State Troopers and local officers on a public road near a baseball field in La Joya, Texas.
Hidalgo County Constable officials encountered over 130 migrants who were illegally smuggled into the U.S. Wednesday in Rincon Village near McAllen, Texas. A few CBP agents arrived, and the DCNF was told it could not photograph, audio or video record the agents’ interactions with the illegal migrants.
After smugglers paddled the illegal migrants across the Rio Grande River in an inflatable raft, they climbed up the riverbank through thick brush and were directed to wait on a dirt road between the constable’s vehicles. Officials collected biometric data from the migrants including country of origin, age and gender then directed the illegal migrants to a CBP processing facility a few miles away.
Law enforcement officials, including two CBP agents, three National Guardsmen, one local police officer and a handful of state police officers encountered over 200 illegal migrants from around 1:30 until 4:00 a.m. Thursday morning in La Joya, Texas.
Officials exclusively told the Daily Caller News Foundation that this is what their typical night has looked like for months and that the illegal migrants would likely be taken to a processing center or facility in McAllen, Texas, nearly 20 miles away from where they were encountered.
Illegal migrants emerged from the brush in consistent waves of groups of around 15 people and approached law enforcement officials until over 200 were lined up and sitting on the side of the road. CBP officers collected information from them and reviewed documentation if they had it, while local officials handed out masks and water bottles.
CBP encountered nearly 700 unaccompanied minors Wednesday and announced that over 5,000 were in the agency’s custody while 11,900 are in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, an Administration for Children and Families spokesperson announced Thursday. CBP encountered over 100,000 illegal immigrants including more than 9,000 unaccompanied migrant minors in February, according to the agency.