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U.S. Border Patrol Encountering More Gang Members Crossing B

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HIDALGO – The federal government is adding more resources to help put gang members behind bars.

A briefing by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions explained the Justice Department convicted more than 1,000 gang members this year.

Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector shows many are caught along the border with Mexico. 

The Lake Texano MH and RV Resort, located along the U.S. - Mexico border, shows the wildlife engulfed in south Texas.

Winter Texan Nelson, an avid bird watcher, is from Quebec, Canada. He said it's his first time on the south Texas border.

"I'm here for birds so sometimes we have to shoot very fast,” he said.

Nelson said his camera is always attached to him. On Tuesday, during his morning’s breakfast, his lens caught a group of people instead of a flock.

"Most of the time they were 11 persons at a time, but this morning, I think they were at least 12, maybe 14, I think,” said Nelson.

He said people who cross the border illegally make their way through this resort every week.

"My thoughts are that they come here to work or to do something positive,” said Nelson.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS found out from Border Patrol some motives to come across the border have changed. U.S. Border patrol agent Robert Rodriguez said agents have to be aware.

"Because they never know who they encounter out there in the field and you may not know it. Like I said, until you get to either the pat down, the process or the records checks process to actually find out they are gang members,” he explained.  

Rodriguez said they have apprehended 60 gang members since October.

"We've actually had instances where illegal aliens, mostly criminals, have actually mutilated their fingertips to attempt to avoid identification,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said they check for gang members by looking at their tattoos, fingerprints and through their database.

Nelson said he will keep looking out for his elusive birds.

"One day it's 11 people. Another day it's an 11 or 13, it's not the same guys every time,” said Nelson.

Sessions said they will be adding more resources to prosecute people with gang affiliations along the southern border.

Link: Remarks on the Administration's Efforts to Combat Ms-13 and Carry Out its Immigration Priorities

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