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MCALLEN, Texas – It was a routine evening for the US Border Patrol in this town just across the border from northern Mexico. It was also a night filled with drama.
In the space of just a few hours at the southern border on Thursday evening, dozens of migrants were arrested, clothing and personal items were left at a migrant landing point on the Rio Grande and a drone believed to belong to a cartel could apparently be seen surveying the border. Patrol movements.
Part of a group that included Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Kat Cammack, R-Fla., and Stephanie Bice, R-Okla., Fox News Digital was on hand as members of the National Border Patrol Council shared this that they live on a nocturnal basis on the southern border.
Almost immediately after the visit began at 10:30 p.m., Border Patrol radio frequencies reported that officers had removed someone from the Rio Grande. A few minutes later, radios went off again, alerting that various individuals had been arrested near a Burger King a few hundred meters from the border.
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Then, just before 11 p.m., several Border Patrol vehicles and agents pulled up near a section of the border wall to arrest a large group of about 40 migrants. Migrants were given masks and lined up before likely being taken to a nearby processing center.
Still, Cammack said the group was not even close to the largest she had seen on previous visits to the border.
At another stop on the tour, south of the border wall on the banks of the Rio Grande, members of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) spotted flashing red and green lights hovering on the Mexican side of the border.
These lights came from a drone likely belonging to a cartel, NBPC officials said. They added that drones are a common sight, used by cartels to monitor the movements of Border Patrol and other law enforcement and to guide people crossing each night.
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At another stop, members of the Texas National Guard found a group of 11 migrants walking through brush, including a teenage girl who spoke fluent English and detailed her story to members of Congress.
“She’s originally from Honduras, actually lived in the United States for about five years with her aunt in Tennessee, and went back to the border because her goal is to find her aunt in Tennessee,” Bice said about of his conversation with the young girl.
“His parents, from what we could tell … had crossed the border at some point,” Bice added. “They were back in Honduras, but it looks like they may have been deported… She said she made the trip with a cousin she had separated from, it looks like just today. And she seemed very comfortable with the process. She knew what paperwork to bring and didn’t seem uncomfortable or afraid of being tricked.”
Cammack added: “Clearly – and this is part of what cartels do – they manage the logistics from start to finish of coaching ‘here’s what you can expect. Here are the papers you need to bring. Here’s how you should approach the Border Patrol. “”
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Cammack also said the girl confidently explained that she would be in Tennessee with her aunt in two or three days, indicating that she had already been briefed on treatment protocols.
“I can’t tell you how many Border Patrol agents have told me over the last year and a half … the cartels know the policies and the protocols better than we do,” Cammack said. “And they use it to their advantage…. What we just witnessed was really the trafficking of unaccompanied children on behalf of the cartels run by the United States government.”
Cammack, Bice, Donalds and Fox News Digital then saw this group of migrants at a secondary processing center.
Representatives from the National Border Patrol Council showed members of Congress and Fox News Digital a common landing zone for migrants crossing the Rio Grande near McAllen.
This area was littered with personal items left by the migrants, including deodorant, tubes of toothpaste, shirts and a bra.
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Representatives from the National Border Patrol Council said the constant processing of waves of migrants arriving at the border undermines the ability of officers to catch real criminals.
“At the start of a shift, we’re actually at 50 percent. Fifty percent are inside” a migrant processing facility, and “50 percent have to go out in the field,” the official said. National Border Patrol Council spokesman Chris Cabrera.
“That 50% ratio starts the day but, after two or three hours of work, we’re down to about 40%, 30%, 25% in the field because the guys are called to take someone to the hospital , to help off treatment,” he continued. “So our numbers keep going down.”
According to Customs and Border Protection, officers encountered a record nearly 240,000 people crossing the southern border.
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