by Jason Hopkins
Illegal migrants were spotted using a drone for the first known time to help them cross the U.S. southern border.
U.S. Border Patrol agents near El Paso, Texas, monitoring the area with an infrared camera spotted a small airborne object traveling over the U.S.-Mexico border in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The object flew about 100 yards north, entering U.S. soil, then returned back. The object, which was determined to be a drone, repeated this pattern three different times.
Ten illegal immigrants were spotted passing the border in the same vicinity the drone had monitored roughly two minutes after the drone retreated back into Mexico territory for the third time.
“This is the first known time in recent history that a drone has been utilized as a ‘look-out’ in order to aid in illegal entries in the El Paso Sector,” Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a press release.
The Border Patrol agents were able to “quickly” apprehend the migrants and take them into custody.
Beyond encountering a drone, agents in the El Paso Sector dealt with an “unprecedented number” of illegal migrants at the border that same day. El Paso Sector officials made over 1,800 apprehensions on Tuesday, with more than half talking place in the city’s metropolitan area.The El Paso Sector has made more than 71,000 apprehensions since the beginning of the 2019 fiscal year to March 31. For reference, the sector made less than 11,000 apprehensions during the same time period last fiscal year.
CBP revealed that 418,000 nationwide apprehensions have occurred this fiscal year to date, already surpassing the total number of apprehensions for the entire 2018 fiscal year. A large number of these migrants are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, burdening U.S. immigration laws geared mostly toward Mexican nationals.
“At DHS we’re taking aggressive action to mitigate the crisis to protect vulnerable people in our custody by expanding medical care, creating temporarily facilities, improving transportation, using additional resources from DHS, and other departments throughout the federal government,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said when making a visit to the border in McAllen, Texas.
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Jason Hopkins is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow Jason on Twitter.