Drone footage has captured the moment a lone Border Patrol agent tried to stop a large group of migrants who were sprinting over the southern border into the U.S.
Video obtained by Fox News shows around 40 migrants running down a dirt road in La Joya, Texas on Sunday pursued by the agent’s pick-up truck, which weaves around the men in a vain attempt to halt them.
Some of the migrants – who are all on foot – can be seen scaling fences and scrambling over narrow streams as they try to escape.
About 15 to 20 of the migrants were arrested, with the other half presumed to have made it into the U.S.
The shocking video comes as the U.S. experiences its biggest surge of illegal immigration in at least 20 years, with some immigrants who are caught saying they’ve been lured to the U.S. by President Joe Biden’s promise of a ‘more humane’ policy to deal with immigrants.
The U.S. is on pace to encounter 2 million migrants at the border this year, according to CNN, which viewed government projections. That far exceeds the 900,000 seen in 2019. The last time the agency encountered even one million people at the border was in 2006.
Video obtained by Fox News shows around 40 migrants running down a dirt road in La Joya, Texas on Sunday pursued by the agent’s pick-up, which weaves around the men in a vain attempt to halt them
As for the Sunday video, two of the fleeing men appear to be handcuffed together, suggesting they had already been in custody before escaping.
A second group of 53 migrants handed themselves in to guards having traveled from Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras and Romania.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures that more resources would be brought in to help the hard-pressed agents.
‘The Texas Department of Public Safety patrols the border every single day and they’ve seen an 800% increase in the amount of fentanyl coming across the border,’ he said.
‘They’ve seized, this year, enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman and child in the entire state of New York.’
It comes after one migrant was stopped Friday carrying a stash of 16 guns.
In March, President Joe Biden named VP Kamala Harris as his ‘border czar’ as the administration faced a mounting crisis with mass migration from the south, causing an overwhelmed immigration system and overcrowded border facilities.
Since taking on the role, Harris has drawn criticism for not visiting the border.
The White House, however, has insisted since then that Harris’ position is to address ‘root causes’ in Central America and Mexico that lead to people fleeing their home countries for the U.S.
Some of the migrants – who are all on foot – can be seen running into grassland in an attempt to escape
Representative Ashley Hinson of Iowa is seeking to ban Harris from any taxpayer-funded travel until she makes a trip to the border.
‘We have an absolute crisis at the border, and Vice President Harris was appointed to lead the administration’s efforts on the border crisis, but it’s been 56 days, and in that time she hasn’t been to the border once,’ Hinson told Fox News last week.
‘She hasn’t held a news conference on the administration’s efforts for a plan, and I think it’s time she does that.’
The Biden administration is dealing with a growing number of single adult migrants crossing the border; they made up nearly two of every three encounters in April.
This elusive group is less likely to surrender to U.S. authorities to seek asylum than families and children, often choosing risky routes away from Border Patrol checkpoints and intake sites, where agents process families and children traveling alone.
Of the Border Patrol´s 173,460 total encounters with migrants last month, 108,301 were single adults, with more than half of them Mexican.
The numbers were the highest since April 2000, but most were quickly expelled from the country under federal pandemic-related powers invoked last year by then-President Donald Trump and kept in place by President Joe Biden.
Unlike deportations, expulsions carry no legal consequences, and many migrants try crossing multiple times. The Border Patrol says 29% of people expelled in April had been expelled before.
In March, President Joe Biden named VP Kamala Harris as his ‘border czar’. Harris – seen with South Korean president Moon Jae-in at the White House on Friday
Vice President Kamala Harris was named ‘border czar’ in March, but since then has not visited the border. She has, however, traveled across the country to promote Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and upcoming $4 trillion in infrastructure proposals
In Brooks County in the Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for illegal crossings, local officials have recovered 40 bodies of migrants in the brush so far this year. In all of 2020, they found 34 bodies, though the coronavirus pandemic vastly reduced the numbers of people coming to the United States.
The Border Patrol keeps its own statistics, which tend to be lower than those tracked by aid groups and local officials because it only counts the remains of migrants it comes across.
The latest increase in pressure on the Biden administration to address the border problem came as former president George W. Bush claimed the immigration system is ‘broken’ and slammed Congress for doing nothing to fix it.
In an interview with Fox News last Thursday he said: ‘You’re not going to solve this if there is politics.
‘If you think about where we are right now, you’ve got people on one side of the aisle blaming the former president, and people on the other side of the aisle blaming the current president.
‘And, the truth of the matter is, the system is broken because Congress has failed to act.’
Bush also said the real blame for the humanitarian crisis at the border is the smugglers who have no intention of getting these families into the US and are simply trying to make money.
‘I’m sure they’re telling them falsehoods – ‘follow me, I’ll get you in’ – and these poor people have no way of checking that out and are finding themselves stuck at the border,’ he added.
A graph showing the number of migrants encountered by U.S. Border Patrol over recent months
Hinson’s proposal would stop Harris’ vice presidential travel, including her security detail for out-of-country travel and the use of Air Force Two, until she issues a report to Congress on how to solve the crisis after finally visiting the southern border.
The Iowa Republican says the report would need to include briefs on any meetings she held with agencies at the border and plans on addressing the crisis. She also is interested in the amount of foreign aid the administration plans to give to Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Officials this year have found the decomposing body of a Honduran woman with a document identifying her as a fruit packer for the banana company Chiquita as well as a Mexican man who appeared to have worked at a factory. Sometimes, sheriff’s deputies only find skeletal remains.
Brooks County sheriff´s Patrol Deputy Roberto Castanon said he thinks this year has been particularly busy for migrants walking this treacherous stretch to elude capture.
While agents try to count how many people avoid apprehension, it’s difficult to do in the Rio Grande Valley. Its often thick brush has traditionally not had many sensors. The Border Patrol´s most trusted method of counting how many people get away relies on observing tiny human traces: dusty footprints, torn cobwebs, broken twigs, overturned pebbles.
The Biden administration is dealing with a growing number of single adult migrants crossing the border; they made up nearly two of every three encounters in April
Castanon says the Border Patrol used to have a heavier enforcement presence around the highway checkpoint, but they appear to have been deployed to help with the increasing numbers of families and children crossing the Rio Grande and surrendering to agents to claim asylum. The Border Patrol did not immediately respond to a question on the staffing changes.
‘I believe people were taking advantage of that,’ Castanon said.
But it’s not that simple. Smugglers can leave migrants to walk long distances in this dangerous area, anywhere from 15 to 50 miles (24 to 80 kilometers), with temperatures sometimes reaching above 100 degrees (38 Celsius). Some migrants have been able to make emergency calls to aid groups, which coordinate with local officials or the Border Patrol on rescues.
This month, a woman near Van Horn, Texas, felt she was close to dying because of a lack of water but was able to call an aid group tied to Canales that alerted officials. They were able to trace the coordinates to the call and find her.
‘Some don´t even make it. They die of lack of water, food, health, collapse and stay there until somebody stumbles upon their bodies, and that´s when they call us to pick them up,’ said Castanon, the deputy.