Last week, 1200 WOAI news reported that Border Patrol agents in the Eagle Pass Sector were dealing with a sudden surge in illegal immigrants from three African countries. Now, the Border Patrol in the Laredo sector says it is overwhelmed with a surge in illegals from the chronically poor south Asian country of Bangladesh, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta says his officers have arrested more than 500 Bangladeshi illegal immigrants since the first of this year alone, including five over the weekend.
“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,” Acosta said.
He says the vast majority of Bangladeshi immigrants don't even attempt to flee from his officers. They simply surrender and request asylum in the U.S., saying they have a 'credible fear' of persecution if they return to their home country.
Mark Jones of the Baker Center at Rice University says, like the African illegal immigrants, this new surge of undocumented immigrants from Asia demonstrate the reach of the Mexican drug cartels, which control essentially all access to U.S. ports of entry.
The Border Patrol says Laredo appears to have been selected as the entry point for south Asian immigrants, just as the cartels are routing African illegals through Eagle Pass.
The Border Patrol says each of the immigrants, men, women, and children, have paid the Mexican drug cartels some $24,000, mainly borrowed from the cartels themselves, to be transported from Asia to the South American nation of Ecuador, and then by land up through Central America to the Texas border.