More evidence in Texas this week that illegal immigration is a truly international affair, with people desperate to get into the U.S. from countries all around the globe, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Just this week, the Border Patrol Laredo sector arrested four illegal immigrants from India, one from Bangladesh, and two from Syria.
Many of the international refugees have cracked the code, and ask for ‘asylum’ when they arrive at the border, claiming a threat of persecution back home.
The Laredo Sector Border Patrol continues to have the highest apprehension of Bangladeshi Nationals compared to other Border Patrol Sectors. Currently, the Laredo Sector Border Patrol has apprehended 229 Bangladeshi Nationals since the start of fiscal year 2018.
“It goes to show that our agents are arresting people from all over the world on a daily basis. Their intentions for entering the country illegally can only be determined after they have been arrested,” said Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel H. Acosta.
But there is one difference in these arrivals.
Dr. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an expert on the Mexican cartels at the Wilson Center, and a long time professor at UT Rio Grande in Brownsville, tells News Radio 1200 WOAI this isn’t the work of the Mexican drug cartels, which smuggle nearly all Latin American immigrants into the U.S.
She says these transoceanic operations are too big, even for them.
“There are networks of smugglers that at some points of the border, they pay those smugglers to allow them to cross their territory.”
She says this indicates just how industrialized and profitable the business of smuggling people from all points of the globe into the U.S. has become. And now those powerful smuggling groups are adding to the opposition as the Trump Administration seeks to tighten border security
.“We are talking about existing criminal organizations like drug cartels, but not necessarily that they operate the whole business.”
Several studies have shown that traditional Latin Americans now make up a far lower percentage of illegal immigrants appearing at the U.S. Mexico border than ever before. In some metro areas in Texas, for example, Asians make up a larger percentage of recent arrivals than do Latin Americans.
Correa-Cabrera says Laredo is becoming an increasingly popular port of entry for trans-national illegal immigrants, largely because it is so crowded with commerce moving into and out of the U.S., and those vehicles make for inviting places to cross the border.
Laredo has long been the largest inland port in North America, and one of the largest in the entire world in terms of good crossing per day.