MCALLEN, TX — A blimp equipped with the latest technology above the Rio Grande Valley and additional border patrol agents are not enough to curb the influx of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
This week, the Department of Defense announced that help is on the way.
Acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan has approved a Department of Homeland Security request to send about 320 troops to the southern border to support CBP officials through September 30, 2019, at an estimated cost of $7.4 million.
CBP Agent Marcelino Medina is with the Rio Grande Valley sector. He spoke to BA recently after a report on the number of apprehensions was released.
Agents along the valley, he told us, have apprehended more than 164,000 people so far this year alone, surpassing the total number of apprehensions in 2018.
“Our McAllen border patrol station is the single station in the nation that leads in illegal alien apprehensions. Our Rio Grande City station which is the neighboring station is the one that leads the nation in marijuana seizures.”
The new troops will join the 3,000 active-duty service members and 2,000 national guard personnel assigned on the southern border.