HIDALGO COUNTY – The Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector remains the busiest in the county with more than 14,000 apprehensions just last month.
While on a ride along with the RGV Sector, Border Patrol agents spotted a group of immigrants who had crossed over the Rio Grande illegally to the United States.
Border Patrol agent Marcelino Medina found a man who eventually walked out of the brush he was hiding in and surrendered to the agents.
The immigrants said while their stories are different, their goal is the same: to seek a better life and better opportunities.
A woman named Maria said violence in her hometown in Mexico makes it too dangerous to live. She said people back home are thrown from bridges and others are hanged.
Another man, 23, said he traveled more than 20 days from Guatemala. He said that smugglers are charging about $10,000 a person just to cross into the United States.
Despite the difficult and exhausting conditions, the man said it is all worth it, especially when he embarked on the journey to help his sick mom back home.
"There is no way to know who is inside that group. Often times, we refer that as potential threats in the mix … wanted for murder, MS-13 (gang) members (or) 18th Street gang members," Medina said.
Medina said receiving an increase in infrastructure, in personnel and in technology will help agents protect the nation.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the number of apprehensions along the Southwest border was more than 34,000 in June. The statistic represented a decline from 40,000 apprehensions in May.
HSI spokesperson Tyler Houton commended the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy” for the decline in apprehensions, saying the government will continue to enforce current immigration laws.