Amid the global pandemic, Border Patrol agents in the Laredo Sector are experiencing an uptick in human smuggling activity.
Agents in Texas keep finding stash houses used by human smugglers, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports a large increase in the number of tractor-trailers being discovered with illegal aliens inside.
According to CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, Laredo Sector agents have discovered 87 stash houses so far in the current fiscal year.
Horrendous human smuggling conditions are all too common. This FY, Laredo Sector USBP agents have discovered 87 stash houses & made more than 1,100 arrests. In a 10-day span in August, @CBP and our partners encountered & arrested 229 people in 12 stash houses in Laredo, TX. pic.twitter.com/on6axJtBF8— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) September 4, 2020
Border Patrol officials report a 20 percent increase in the number of arrests at the Laredo Sector this year, and roughly 7,000 commercial trucks pass through the World Trade Bridge Port of Entry in Laredo everyday. The Laredo Port of Entry handles about 40 percent of all trade with Mexico.
A beautiful morning here at World Trade Bridge in #Laredo, #Texas. Rest assured, @CBP officers are working hard to ensure essential trade and travel persists. @CBP @CBPSouthTexas#ThursdayMotivation #CBP #DHS #OFO #Police #Essential #EssentialTravel pic.twitter.com/LHxN4Cfq6m— Director of Field Operations Randy Howe (@DFOLaredo) September 3, 2020
"We are seeing anywhere from 20 to upwards of 80 people being packed in the back of a tractor-trailer," Matthew Hudak, chief patrol agent for the U.S. Border Patrol Laredo Sector Hudak, told Fox News. "They have no ventilation, no personal protective equipment and they are in there for several hours as they attempt to move to other parts of the country."
As the coronavirus has exploded in Mexico, hundreds of Border Patrol agents have been placed in quarantine after coming into contact with infected migrants. Acting CBP Commissioner Mark A. Morgan said at a news conference in early August that 10 CBP officers had died as a result of contracting COVID-19.
"It is immensely dangerous in the first place and then we add the threat of COVID to all of the things that we do right now, it’s making this job a little more critical and also a little more dangerous," Hudak said. "When we get these smuggling loads, they don’t have masks, they have not washed their hands or done any of the things we need to be doing, generally for days, so it is a really dangerous environment for COVID."
The brave men and women working to secure our nation's borders are simply heroes.