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Border Patrol agents apprehended several sex offenders and gang members who crossed the border last week as part of the larger number of migrants overwhelming border officials.
Agents in the El Centro sector arrested a group of seven illegal immigrants on Monday, and among them was a 53-year-old Colombian convicted of incest-sex acts with a minor under 14.
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In a statement, Customs and Border Protection said it had arrested or deported 15 illegal immigrants convicted or wanted for sex offenses.
Also on Monday, officers in the Rio Grande Valley arrested three members of the MS-13 gang – one with prior assault and battery charges and another with a conviction and time served for money laundering.
Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), was created in Los Angeles by immigrants from Central America and has grown throughout the continent, especially in Northern Triangle countries like El Salvador and Guatemala. He is known for his particularly heinous and gruesome crimes, and his motto is they say “mata, viola, controla” – meaning “kill, violate, control”.
On Tuesday, officers from the RGV sector treated a Mexican national who was sentenced to a year in prison in 2008 for indecency with a 10-year-old minor, and another with a previous conviction for online solicitation of a minor. They also arrested a member of the Salvadoran MS-13 gang and a member of the 18th Street gang.
Meanwhile, in Del Rio, officers apprehended a group of nine migrants on Monday – one of whom later turned out to be a Mexican national who had previously been convicted (and subsequently deported) of aggravated sexual assault on a child in 2016.
On the same day, in another group of 11 migrants, officers discovered that one of the migrants was a Mexican with a previous conviction for the 4th degree felony sexual assault of a child in Arkansas in 2016.
Then on Tuesday, officers arrested another group of migrants, which contained a 38-year-old Mexican national with a prior conviction for sexual activity with a minor in Utah in 2013. These three men, who are felons with prior deportations , facing a potential charge of re-entry after deportation – which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
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“Arrests like these underscore the importance of border security and what it means to American citizens,” Jason Owens, chief patrol officer for the Del Rio area, said in a statement. “Border Patrol agents stand between the right people and those who wish to harm them. Regardless of the circumstances, they remain committed to keeping criminals like these out of the country and out of your communities.”
There have been 321 arrests of gang members so far in fiscal year 2022, already nearly exceeding the 348 encountered in the previous fiscal year and the 363 encountered in fiscal year 2020.
Meanwhile, there were 146 convictions for sex offenses among migrants crossing the border in fiscal year 2022, compared to 488 for all of fiscal year 2021 and 156 for fiscal year 2020.
The Del Rio Sector Border Patrol has also drawn attention to the large groups of migrants officers encounter. Owens tweeted that between May 5 and May 12, Del Rio officers encountered eight large groups of 100 or more migrants – with 1,092 encountered in those groups alone.
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“So far in fiscal year 2022, our officers have met with 101 groups of over 100 subjects,” he said. “This represents 46% of all large group arrests on the southern border.”
Officers across the border are dealing with massive numbers of migrants. There were more than 221,000 migrant encounters in March alone and that number is expected to have increased in April.
The push is expected to increase if Title 42 ends at the end of the month, though there is a lawsuit from two dozen state Republicans challenging that Biden administration move.