Migrants Increasing at ‘Concerning Rate’ on Southern Border, Says CPB Agent

From WWW.THEEPOCHTIMES.COM

As caravans build up in Honduras, migrants are increasing at a “concerning rate” at the United States southern border, according to Matthew Hudak, U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) chief patrol agent of the Laredo sector in Texas. He warns that immigration is just a piece of the threat coupled with the pandemic health risk and other crimes along the border.

“Like everybody, we’re tracking the formation of these caravans in Central America,” said Hudak. The Laredo Sector is one of nine CBP sectors along the southern border. It contains about 135 miles of the international border with Mexico.

On Jan. 8, CBP Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan issued a statement on potential migrant caravans: “Do not waste your time and money, and do not risk your safety and health.” According to Hudak, the Laredo Sector hasn’t seen a reduction of migrants in response to the statement. It has made over 30,000 arrests in this fiscal year, a 50 percent increase over the same period last year. Hudak added that similar trends are identified by other sectors on the southern border. The U. S. government fiscal year starts on Oct. 1. Hudak called the 50 percent increase “a pretty concerning rate.”

He told The Epoch Times that some portions of the caravan of 9,000 migrants will make their way to the southern border. Part of the group was stopped in Guatemala on Jan. 16. Depending on the pace and the means with which these migrants travel, the arrival time at the U. S.-Mexico border may be between a few days and a few weeks. As of Jan. 21, he hasn’t yet seen a dramatic increase of migrants indicative of caravans arriving at the southern border.

Hudak said that human smuggling is usually achieved with systems shared with drug and firearm smuggling, and the fees migrants are charged feed larger criminal organizations. Therefore, he sees a more significant threat: “We may be talking about one piece of it, which is immigration, but it’s part of a much larger criminal enterprise.”

He attributed the trend of migrant increase to the U. S. econo… (Read more)