Border Patrol agents in El Paso stopped more than 49 human smuggling schemes involving almost 300 migrants in just five days, as an unprecedented number of migrants continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
On January 11, Border Patrol agents at the Deming Border Patrol Station stopped a human smuggling incident involving eight undocumented migrants that had been crammed into a black SUV. Among the migrants in the group were individuals from El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Ecuador, according to a press release by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Additionally, there was one undocumented minor in the group.
On Friday, Agents stopped six vehicles in southern New Mexico that were involved in human trafficking. “During the encounter, several subjects attempted to flee from the vehicles on foot but were detained shortly after,” said the CBP statement.
The drivers of all six vehicles, some U.S. residents, were detained and charged with human smuggling, the U.S. Border Patrol said.
Border Patrol agents for the El Paso Sector, which covers 125,000 square miles from Texas to New Mexico, prosecuted 642 cases of human smuggling during the fiscal year 2022. So far this fiscal year, 141 cases have been prosecuted.
“Transnational criminal organizations continue to recklessly endanger the lives of the migrants they smuggle for their own financial gain and with no regard for human life.” said El Paso Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Peter Jaquez.
“Human smuggling is a federal crime and the El Paso Sector will continue to work diligently with our U.S. Attorney partners in the West Texas District and the State of New Mexico to prosecute smugglers that endanger and exploit migrants,” he added.