Posted: Jun 26, 2013 7:53 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2013 8:32 PM
EDINBURG - A surge in illegal immigration in the Rio Grande Valley is having an impact on the daily operations of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department, officials said.
Sheriff Lupe Trevino said his deputies are being pulled away from their duties to deal with stash houses and illegal immigrants.
"This is becoming a problem. We're snatching up 50, 60 up to 100 a day in stash houses," Trevino said.
"When you're arresting 15, 20, 50 people you can't do it with one deputy. You have to have at least seven or eight, until Border Patrol gets here," the sheriff said.
He said calls for suspicious activity turn into human-smuggling busts. Trevino said his deputies can't ignore the stash houses. He said doing so would mean an open door for criminals.
"I've got to worry about the burglars, and the thieves and the robbers and domestic-abuse cases. When we take away from our resources, and assets for something like this, it doesn't fall right. But we have to do our job," Trevino said.
The sheriff said there may be relief in sight. He said legislation being proposed in Washington could mean more Border Patrol agents along the border. Still, that legislation must pass first.