Posted: Jul 28, 2014 6:49 PM
Updated: Jul 28, 2014 6:56 PM
McALLEN - The surge of Central Americans crossing the border illegally appears to be slowing down. Now, there could be a rush of people from other countries.
A CHANNEL 5 NEWS met a group of immigrants from China during a ride-along with Border Patrol agents. The agents said people from more than 143 countries try to enter the United States illegally through the South Texas border.
The agents said the group of Chinese men and women was the second they picked up that day.
Border Patrol Agent Joe Gutierrez is familiar with the area where the group was found.
"Earlier today, me and my partner were here patrolling in the area and we had three Chinese immigrants come up to us directly," Gutierrez said.
"Most people think that it's just people from Mexico or Central America, but we get people from China, from Europe from a whole bunch of different places," the agent said.
The Chinese immigrants were exhausted. Some climbed into the Border Patrol SUV in an effort to cool off.
Gutierrez and his partner passed out water bottles. One of the immigrants became ill in the 100-degree temperatures.
Gutierrez called for help.
"It's extreme heat. That's why we have our BORSTAR agents out here, we have MRT agents, we have agents that are first responders," Gutierrez said.
The Chinese immigrants had no idea they were in the United States.
"They had no clue they were inside the United States, because the smugglers don't tell them that," Gutierrez said.
The agents took the Chinese immigrants to the McAllen station. Gutierrez says groups aren't told the truth about the intense illegal journey into the U.S.
"You can't trust a smuggler. He lies to you from the beginning. He tells you it's going to be a two- to three-hour walk and it turns into two or three days," Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez said people from China sometimes pay up to $30,000 to get into the United States illegally.