CBP: Cartels using large groups, sick migrants to distract Border Patrol
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has recently described a surge in drug trafficker’s use of immigrants at the border to distract U.S. officers to open up unprotected smuggling lanes. In one recent instance, a group of 247 immigrants from Central America arrived at the border and 50 of the group were in need of hospitalization upon arrival, requiring almost every available agent for their transportation. “Smugglers and traffickers then use these large groups as ‘cover’ while USBP resources are utilized to arrest and [for] detention-related duties associated with the large groups.” While the 90s and 00s saw large columns made up of mostly Mexican males, current groups are comprised largely of families and unaccompanied children from Central America, according to the Washington Times. Since October, 53 large groups have been identified totaling around 8,800. Of this, 85% were families and another 11.5% unaccompanied children. Almost all were from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.