TIJUANA, BAJA CALIFORNIA (May 15th, 2022).- Border Patrol agents have apprehended multiple sex offenders and gang members coming across the border in the last week as part of the broader migrant numbers that are overwhelming officials at the border.
Agents in El Centro Sector on Monday stopped a group of seven illegal immigrants, and among them was a 53-year-old Colombian with a conviction for Incest-Sexual Acts with a minor under 14.
In a statement, Customs and Border Protection said it has arrested or removed 15 illegal immigrants who are either convicted or wanted on sex offense charges.
Also on Monday, agents in Rio Grande Valley picked up three MS-13 gang members — one with previous charges for assault and battery and another with a conviction and time served for money laundering.
Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), was set up in Los Angeles by Central American immigrants and has expanded across the continent — particularly in Northern Triangle countries like El Salvador and Guatemala. It is known for its particularly horrific and gruesome crimes, and its motto is said to be “mata, viola, controla” — which means “kill, rape, control.”
On Tuesday, agents in RGV sector processed a Mexican national who had been sentenced to a year in prison in 2008 for indecency with a 10-year-old, and another with a prior conviction of online solicitation of a minor. They also picked up a Salvadoran MS-13 gang member and an 18th Street gang member.
Meanwhile, in Del Rio, agents apprehended a group of nine migrants on Monday — one of whom was later found to be a Mexican national who had previously been convicted (and later deported) of aggravated sexual assault of a child in 2016.
That same day, in another group of 11 migrants, agents found that one of the migrants was a Mexican with a prior conviction of 4th degree felonious sexual assault of a child in Arkansas in 2016.
Then on Tuesday, agents stopped another group of migrants, which contained a 38-year-old Mexican national with a prior conviction for sexual activity with a minor in Utah in 2013. All three of those men, who are felons with prior deportations, face a potential charge of re-entry after deportation — which carries a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years.
“Arrests like these highlight the importance of border security and what it means for American citizens,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Jason Owens said in a statement. “Border Patrol agents stand between good people and those who wish to do them harm. No matter the circumstances, they remain dedicated to keeping criminals like these out of the country and out of your communities.”
There have so far been 321 apprehensions of gang members in FY 2022, already almost topping the 348 encountered last fiscal year and the 363 encountered in FY 2020.
Meanwhile, there have been 146 sex offense convictions among migrants coming across the border in FY 2022, compared to 488 in the entirety of FY 2021 and 156 in FY 2020.
The Del Rio Sector Border Patrol has also drawn attention to the large groups of migrants agents are encountering. Owens tweeted that between May 5 and 12, Del Rio agents have encountered eight large groups of 100 or more migrants — with 1,092 encountered in those groups alone.
“So far, in Fiscal Year 2022, our agents have encountered 101 groups of more than 100 subjects,” he said. “That accounts for 46% of all large group apprehensions on the southern border.”
Agents across the border are dealing with massive migrant numbers. There were more than 221,000 migrant encounters in March alone and that number is expected to have risen in April.
The surge is widely expected to increase if Title 42 ends at the end of the month, although there is a lawsuit from two dozen Republican states that is challenging that move by the Biden administration.