A drone from the Texas Department of Public Safety identified 37 migrants riding into the state on a train car and was able to have Border Patrol in the Del Rio Sector detain and arrest them, Texas officials tweeted on Friday.
ICYMI: @TxDPS drone operators & Special Operations Group using thermal imaging located 37 illegal immigrants (36 adults/1 minor) concealed inside an open-top train car in Maverick Co. The immigrants, from MX, HN, GT, & SV, were referred to #USBP. #OperationLoneStar pic.twitter.com/oIhEnHVnTs
— TxDPS – South Texas Region (@TxDPSSouth) September 30, 2022
The drone and pilot are part of Governor Greg Abbott’s (R) Operation Lone Star, a state program aimed at fighting against illegal immigration out of frustration that the federal government has dropped the ball.
Special Operations Group troopers were able to locate the migrants and turn them over to the Border Patrol.
Scope of the problem
Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Jason D. Owens said another 30 migrants were apprehended after a different drone pilot directed agents to their location.
Del Rio is the busiest sector along the border, with 480,000 illegal immigrants apprehended during fiscal year 2022. an 85% increase over 2021 and more than four times the 2020 total of 90,000.
The migrants came from 118 different countries, which shows that people from all over the world are traveling to the southern border in an attempt to enter the U.S.
This is only one sector of the border in Texas; there are more sectors there and in other border states including Arizona and New Mexico.
Border not secure
Conditions in Del Rio and other sectors reveal the lie in recent statements by Vice President Kamala Harris that the border is secure. Would hundreds of thousands of people even try to come across the border if they thought it was secure.
While COVID-19 brought upheaval and difficulty to people in the U.S., it was far more devastating to people in developing or poorer countries.
Some of the increase is undoubtedly due to Biden administration messaging that Trump-era controls are being erased, but some is probably also due to migrants feeling like they have nothing to lose by trying to get into the U.S. where things are better.
Either way, the country can’t sustain this kind of immigration forever. Something will have to give at some point.