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Border Patrol: Migrants now entering El Paso illegally; police having to respond

The Border Patrol is reporting groups of migrants are now crossing the border without turning themselves into Border Patrol agents.

Monday night, the border patrol apprehended a group of migrants at Executive and Rio Bravo about three miles from the area of the border they most likely crossed. It happened on the corner just outside of the ABC-7 studio. About 20 migrants were apprehended.

Border Patrol said migrants slipping past border patrol agents and entering into the city illegally is now something they’re seeing on a daily basis

Joe Romero, a Supervisor with the Border Patrol, said, “Last night is pretty indicative of what we’ve been talking about the last few months, and that is the challenges that our agents are facing at the border.”

Romero told ABC-7’s Christina Aguayo that many migrants are not waiting to turn themselves in at the border, but are crossing illegally into the city because the Border Patrol does not have the manpower to handle the surge of migrants.

“With the unprecedented influx of illegal aliens entering the area, it’s causing our agents to be pulled from their primary functions,” said Romero, “of enforcing laws on the border to secondary functions.”

Romero said this new trend could pose a security issue. “We have no idea who we are dealing with. We don’t know who has crossed that border illegally until we apprehend them, put them into the computer systems, and find out who that person is exactly. Now in some cases, they’re rapists, they’re murderers, they’re criminals, in other cases, they’re economic migrants – we get that,” said Romero.

Romero said the El Paso Police Department is now having to use their resources to help with the migrants that enter into the city illegally.

Romero talked about a couple of recent incidents. “In the sunset heights area,” Romero said, “A group got across and EPPD was able to respond and offer assistance. We had another situation in the Lower Valley where Police Department informed us of a break-in in a neighborhood. Those were individuals that crossed the border illegally, made it to someone’s house and broke into their shed.”

According to Romero, smugglers are helping most migrants cross the border. “Smuggling organizations are taking advantage of the current immigration crisis along the border,” said Romero, “They’re pushing for other criminals to get through. Those are the individuals that don’t want to get caught.”

Romero said that agents in the El Paso Sector have apprehended migrants from 60 different countries.

According to Border Patrol, more than 100,000 migrants were apprehended in the El Paso sector in March. That’s an increase from 76,000 in February.

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