A joint operation between the US Border Patrol and local law enforcement led to the arrest of 216 migrants hidden in five stash houses in southern Texas.
Agents from the Laredo Sector Border Patrol and Laredo Police made the arrests during a series of raids on Monday and Tuesday in the border town of Laredo, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The raids came as the number of migrants arrested in stash houses soared in the past year.
Data provided to DailyMail.com by the Laredo Sector Border Patrol showed that 3,998 migrants were arrested in 189 stash houses from October 1, 2020 to June 9, 2020.
By comparison, between October 1, 2019 and September 31, 2020, the sector detained just 464 migrants after 46 house raids in the whole year.
The raids started this week when border agents received an anonymous tip on Monday, finding 20 undocumented immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras at a house on Mims Avenue.
The temperature in the home peaked at nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Authorities were later directed to a residence on Canelo Drive, which also served as a storehouse for migrant smugglers, and discovered 20 Mexican nationals, all of whom were illegally in the United States.
US Border Patrol agents assigned to the Laredo sector detained 55 migrants Tuesday at a supply house on Invierno Drive in Laredo, Texas. US Customs and Border Protection reported that a total of 216 migrants were found in five homes used by smugglers to hide the individuals after illegally crossing the US-Mexico border
Pictured above are the migrants taken into custody by agents of the US Border Patrol of the Laredo Sector and the Laredo Police Department during one of five raids that took place on homes used by smugglers to hide individuals illegally crossing the United States. States were transported -Mexican border
Agents assigned to Laredo South Station Laredo Sector Border Patrol and a team of agents discovered a residence on Canelo Drive in the Texas border town of Laredo, which also served as a depot for migrant smugglers. A total of 20 Mexican citizens, all of whom were illegally in the United States, were detained
At the request of the LPD, officers then went to San Francisco Avenue and searched a house housing 82 migrants. The individuals were identified as residents of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Mexico.
Border police, the LPD and a team of federal law enforcement officers discovered a fourth supply house on Invierno Drive on Tuesday and took into custody 55 migrants from Mexico, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
A fifth and final residence used by smugglers to hide migrants was robbed on San Agustin Avenue. In total, 30 people from Mexico and Guatemala were detained.
The CBP did not say whether there were minors among the 216 people arrested or whether any of the migrants had a criminal record or had been deported in the past.
A fifth and final residence used by smugglers to hide migrants was robbed on San Agustin Avenue. Pictured are four of the 30 people from Mexico and Guatemala who were detained
“Illegal stash houses are still widely used in our community, which is still highlighted by our (Laredo) partners,” said Deputy Chief Patrol Officer Carl E. Landrum.
“These houses often have no electricity, running water or air conditioning of any kind, and the people who are being held inside are not free to leave. Summer heat makes these situations extremely dangerous.’
The Laredo Sector is responsible for covering 96 counties and 84,041 square miles along southwest and northeast Texas.
This graph shows how 2021 border crossings – shown in blue – skyrocketed at crossings made in 2020, shown by the brown line (2018 is shown in gray, with 2019 in orange)
A new monthly report released by CBP on Wednesday showed border police officers stopped 180,034 migrants in May, a slight increase from 178,854 the previous month, with the increase largely driven by lone adults.
For its part, the Laredo sector saw the number of encounters with migrants rise from 10,926 in April to 76,670 in May.
The total number of encounters is nearly 20 years old, although they are not directly comparable, as evictions under pandemic powers that include the ability to apply for asylum have no legal ramifications, encouraging people to make repeated attempts.
The number of US Border Patrol encounters with migrants has increased during the last nine months of former President Donald Trump’s tenure and continued to increase under his predecessor.
President Joe Biden has maintained Title 42, a Trump-era rule that allows border crossings to be evicted, generally within two hours, for public health reasons to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The number of encounters with people in families was 44,794 in May, compared to 50,228 in April. Only one in five that ran into families last month were evicted under pandemic-related authority.
Nearly nine out of every ten single adults were displaced under the public health emergency. Unaccompanied minors are exempt from deportation and may remain in the United States to apply for asylum.
The CBP report shows that 14,158 unaccompanied minors were found last month, down from 17,148 in April and a record high of 18,951 in March. May’s number was the third highest ever.