Cartel give migrants numbered wristbands to cross, Border Patrol says
LA JOYA, Texas (Border Report) — Sitting huddled together in a grassy field outside a community park, a group of about 50 mostly migrant women with small babies in their arms tried to protect each other from the stiff Gulf Coast breeze just moments after Border Patrol agents apprehended them before dawn Tuesday in this small border town just north of the Rio Grande.
Their jeans were still wet at the bottom from crossing the river on rafts. Several were coughing. And in just this one area in the small town of La Joya, Border Patrol agents, including one from the horse patrol unit, apprehended about 200 migrants from the early morning darkness of 5 a.m. until the sun came up along the southern-most road that runs parallel to the river.
Border Patrol agents did not speak on-camera, nor did they give their names, but allowed Border Report to record video of the migrants as they waited to board U.S. Department of Homeland Security buses, as well as the families who had just crossed from Mexico into the United States through this part of South Texas about 20 miles west of the city of McAllen.
Agents also gave an exclusive perspective on how cartels and human traffickers in Mexico organize and group the migrants by placing colored and numbered wristbands on them.
“It’s like a ticket to the carnival,” one Border Patrol agent said.
Another speculated that the cartels allow the migrants multiple opportunities to cross as long as they have the wristband. “They can reuse it and keep trying to cross with it,” he said.
On the ground at the park in La Joya, several paper wristbands of different colors and numbers could be found .
Human traffickers charge $5,000 to $8,000 per person, and right now most migrants are crossing with very young children, whom the Biden administration are allowing to stay legally in the United States while they wait for their immigration proceedings.
By Sandra Sanchez for BORDER REPORT
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