CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Fence-cutting migrants busted by feds

The U.S. is now in the fourth year of a historic migrant crisis

— Multiple groups of illegal immigrants, including one group who sliced open border fencing to enter deeper into the U.S., were stopped by Border Patrol agents last week, as officials are drawing on more resources and tools to prevent them from fleeing into the U.S.

Fox News Digital was on the ground in the El Paso Sector, as Border Patrol agents on an early morning patrol caught multiple groups of illegal immigrants moving into the U.S.

One group, consisting mostly of Ecuadorians, was caught down a main road from the bollard border wall separating the U.S. and Mexico. The group were checked, given water, made to take off shoelaces and hand over their belongings, before being put into a transport van to the local Border Patrol station.


Border Patrol detaining migrants by white SUV

April 12, 2024: Migrants are apprehended near the border in New Mexico. (Fox News)

There, they will be subject to Title 8 removal proceedings, which could include a quick return to their country of origin via expedited removal, or it could mean entry into the United States as they await their immigration removal proceedings and a court hearing. 

In another section near the port of entry, agents nabbed a group of migrants from Ecuador, Bolivia and Guatemala who had cut a hole in the border fence, but had been stopped by agents just feet from the hole. The fencing is, in some areas, reinforced by bollards, which in turn are sometimes filled with concrete in an effort to make cutting them harder. The group included two small children.

Agents have also found makeshift ladders and rope discarded near parts of the wall that are harder to cut through.


It’s an area where smugglers have operated for years and they are notoriously vicious. They will leave migrants behind if they get injured, or send them across, knowing that they are in danger to the elements. This was the area where, in 2021, smugglers heartlessly abandoned a five-year-old and three-year-old girl, dropping them over the fence before they were rescued by agents.

Border Patrol Agent Claudio Herrera told Fox News Digital that there were nearly 600 rescues of distressed migrants in FY 23, and so far in FY 24 there have been more than 320.

Migrants detained on ground near border by federal agents

Migrants are apprehended near the border wall in New Mexico in this April 12, 2024, photo.

"Unfortunately, we have seen in the past how these transnational criminal organizations stash these migrants south of the border. And they don't give them food or enough water. By the time they're already arrived at our borders, they're already dehydrated," he said.

During some migrant surges, majorities of illegal immigrants have been turning themselves in the hope of being released. Here, that isn’t the case. One agent told Fox that the vast majority of encounters (as high as 95%) are migrants who are trying to evade Border Patrol rather than giving themselves up, suggesting that they’ve been briefed by smugglers that their chances of being returned are high.

Apprehensions in the sector are down sharply from last year. There were 427,471 in FY 23 by Border Patrol. So far in FY 24, which began in October, there have been just over 150,000. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) puts that decrease in part due to a multi-layered enforcement strategy that combines existing barriers, technology including autonomous surveillance towers, K-9 units and recent cooperation with state police to stop illegal entrants.


"We are doing a fantastic job interdicting these individuals from smuggling schemes, in vehicles or also in the stash houses. We also have our checkpoints. We also have canines. We also have horse patrol, ATVs, you name it. We have all these different assets that help us do our job better," Herrera said.

Elsewhere in the sector, Texas has also fortified existing barriers with extra layers of razor wire, a move that has led to a legal battle with the federal government.

But looming over the Sunland Park area is Mount Cristo Rey, where there can be no border barriers, due to the jagged terrain, and small white obelisks mark where the U.S. ends and Mexico begins. It’s a perilous area for migrants and agents alike.

Border area with Mexico as migrant scout in black seen at center

Migrant scout oversees the border area near Mexico in this April 12, 2024, photo. (Fox News)

placeholderAgents with whom Fox was embedded spotted a helicopter from CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) flying low over the mountain's border with Mexico, and followed up the ominous mountain, where cartel scouts were situated just on the Mexican side. A group of adult male migrants whom they were overseeing, but who had not yet reached the U.S., quickly turned back upon seeing the agents.

But the scouts remained just feet from the border, gesturing vulgarly at the agents and filming them and Fox’s reporter. The Border Patrol vehicle headed up the mountain and later returned, at which point the scouts had inched across into the U.S. side, but fled back over to the Mexican side when they saw the vehicle.

For the agents though, they don’t need to spend much time up in the mountains. With the extra levels of surveillance, including the autonomous surveillance towers that use AI to track and identify migrants, agents can track any migrants clambering across the mountain and wait for them at the bottom when they come down and have tired themselves out.

1 comment:

  1. Put National Guard units on the boarder with "Shoot To Kill" orders. Problem solved


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