McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection are warning migrants not to try to cross the South Texas border from Mexico because they could be robbed or assaulted by “bandits.”
CBP officials on Tuesday reported that in September, there were at least five robberies of migrants reported near the river in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. Money and personal belongings were taken “after they made an illegal entry,” according to a news release.
At least 30 asylum seekers told law enforcement agents that they were threatened with a knife or bat, including what they are calling a “bandit duo” that is preying upon migrants on the border.
Officials also said sexual assaults of migrants in stash houses, and in the brush on both sides of the border, as well as in areas migrants walk to avoid Border Patrol checkpoints, such as in Falfurrias, Texas, remain high.
Additional law enforcement has been deployed to the region, CBP officials said.
Agents have encountered more than 215 migrants smuggled in seven tractor-trailers, so far this month. In four of the tractor-trailer events, migrants were found in refrigerated trailers that ranged from 45 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. This included a 6-year-old girl and her mother, from the Dominican Republic, found in a trailer’s air dam.
“The inability to free themselves has proven detrimental to people’s safety as we have seen in the past where smugglers abandon the load vehicle and migrants lose their lives,” a media release said.
In June, 53 migrants died after they were found in a sweltering tractor-trailer outside San Antonio. They had crossed the border from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, into Laredo, Texas, in what is the deadliest human smuggling incident ever in the United States.