US Border Patrol reports a 436% increase in migrants apprehended in Texas ‘stash houses’ used by human traffickers
- Customs and Border Patrol agents in the Laredo Border Patrol Sector have arrested over 1,200 migrants in stash houses since October
- That’s a 436% increase compared to the same period last year when agents nabbed 231 undocumented migrants in homes operated by smugglers
- CBP said it detained 64 migrants in three different stash houses in south Laredo on Tuesday
- A U.S. citizen also was detained as an operator of one of the homes
- The operators of two of the three homes were holding the people against their wills
- The stash houses, within the US, also have sparked concerns about the spread of the coronavirus
U.S. Border Patrol agents on Friday reported a 436 percent increase in migrants apprehended in so-called stash houses near Laredo, Texas since October when compared to the same time last year.
The stash houses at the Texas-Mexico border are operated by human trafficking organizations to hide undocumented immigrants.
The homes, stuffed full of unmasked people in Texas neighborhoods, also have drawn the CBP’s concern over the spread of the coronavirus.
Data released by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s Laredo Border Sector – which is responsible for 136 miles of the southwest border along the Rio Grande River – shows that agents have detained over 1,200 undocumented immigrants in stash houses since October.
In some instances, migrants who have paid someone to ferry them across the border are tricked into dealing with a smuggler who then holds them against their will in one of these homes, extorting them for even more money.
Pictured are 64 of the undocumented immigrants who were arrested Tuesday during raids at three homes in Laredo, Texas, that were carried out by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Laredo Border Sector said it has seen a 436 percent increase in apprehensions since October at stash houses used by human trafficking organizations
More than 30 undocumented immigrants (pictured) were detained by agents from CBP’s Laredo Sector Border Patrol on Tuesday while searching three homes, including two that held migrants were held against their will
A two story home in the Laredo Sector was one of three that were raided by CBP agents on Tuesday. The agents said they were acting on an anonymous tip
The figures represent a 436 percent increase compared to the same period last year – from October 2019 through January 2020 – when agents apprehended 231 migrants from stash houses within the Laredo zone.
On Tuesday, Laredo Border Sector agents acting on an anonymous tip detained 64 undocumented immigrants and a U.S. citizen in charge of three stash houses in a raid in Laredo, Texas.
In two of the houses, CBP agents said the migrants were held against their will.
All of the migrants – foreign nationals from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador – were in the United States illegally.
On January 20, the border sector’s agents were alerted by residents in Rio Bravo, Texas, to a group of people who were being smuggled near a ranch there. They were being put in a stash house – with an American citizen who had led them across the Mexico-United States border.
Pictured are 22 of the 64 undocumented immigrants detained by CBP at a stash house in Laredo, Texas. The agency said none of the migrants were wearing face masks to protect them from potentially being infected with COVID-19
Migrants await to be process inside a Laredo, Texas, stash house what was busted by CBP
On January 20, the CBP agents from the Laredo Sector Border Patrol were alerted by residents in Rio Bravo, Texas, to a group of individuals who were being smuggled near a ranch and located 29 migrants at a stash house with an American citizen, who had led them across the Mexico-United States border
The rising numbers in arrests of undocumented immigrants at stash houses between October and January represents 4 percent of the nearly 32,000 migrants who have been detained by CBP’s Laredo Border Sector agents since October.
The increased activity of smugglers using homes across the Laredo Border Sector has raised major concerns for Chief Patrol Agent Matthew J. Hudak during the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘We continue to encounter stash houses with large numbers of [undocumented immigrants] in residential neighborhoods and in close proximity to other homes and families,’ Hudak said.
‘As residents throughout our area limit social gatherings and sacrifice to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we see smugglers and these [migrants] totally disregard globally recognized safety practices, putting themselves and others at risk.’