Border Patrol Apprehensions Steadily Rising

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WESLACO – The U.S. Border Patrol stopped fewer people crossing illegally at the border this fiscal year compared to 2016. In the Rio Grande Valley Sector, that holds true.

Overall, there was 25 percent drop in people crossing illegally from the fiscal year 2016 to this year. Border Patrol is keeping a close watch as the numbers are steadily increasing in the Valley.

The door at the McAllen Respite Center is opening more often.

Waiting to leave for the bus station is Olga Bautista, mother of 2-month-old Edwin. They're from Honduras. She told CHANNEL 5 NEWS she left because of the "presidency, fighting and the country was in chaos."

She was thinking about leaving. The new presidential administration gave her pause. Ultimately, her son's future propelled her forward.

She says, "I hope that he can be well-educated, doesn't follow the wrong path and that he becomes a civilized person."

She's one of the many family units crossing through the Valley. This is what the year looked like for this group.

It started busy in Oct. 2016 with 8,718. The numbers decreased all the way to the 600-mark by March. Border Patrol notices they're coming back up.

Robert Rodriguez with RGV Sector Border Patrol confirms, "The Rio Grande Valley Sector specifically has seen a slight increase in apprehensions in the past several months, mostly due to the flow of unaccompanied children and families from Central American countries."

It's the same pattern for children coming alone. Overall, the numbers are steadily rising. Border patrol says it's not just families looking for a better life.

Last year, they caught 3,697 immigrants with outstanding warrants; this year it was about 2,675.

Border Patrol believes the Rio Grande Valley is being targeted.

Rodriguez explains, "The fact that we continue to apprehend criminal aliens here in the Rio Grande Valley Sector is proof that we still have a porous border. The transnational criminal organizations exploit the fact that the Rio Grande Valley Sector is lacking in personnel, technology and infrastructure.”

They'll continue watching the numbers, guarding the border and those who walk in.

Of all the people stopped by Border Patrol nationwide this year, the Rio Grande Valley was responsible for about 45 percent of apprehensions.

To view the changes in numbers of Border Patrol apprehensions, you can click here.

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