Border agents in Del Rio Sector nab migrants with convictions for child molestation, attempted murder

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Border Patrol agents in the Del Rio Sector arrested migrants with a number of convictions, including child molestation and attempted murder, over the July 4 weekend — part of a broader increase in criminal migrants being picked up.

Over the holiday weekend, agents arrested three Mexicans with convictions for child molestation, sexual abuse, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a release.

Separately, they picked up a Guatemalan with convictions for sexual assault, sodomy and kidnapping. On Independence Day itself, agents arrested a Mexican with a prior conviction for second-degree attempted murder in California. He had served five years in jail before being deported.

“While we remain busy with large groups, criminals continue in their attempts to elude detection by crossing in our more remote areas,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Austin Skero said. “With technology, partnerships, and highly trained agents, we have increased our ability to detect and arrest these criminals before they are able to cause further harm in the United States.”

Del Rio has been arresting increasing numbers of migrants with criminal convictions. The release said they have now arrested 927 illegal immigrants with prior convictions this fiscal year — marking a 382 percent increase over the same time last year.

Earlier this week, Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector announced it had picked up MS-13 gang members and convicted sex offenders among groups of illegal immigrants they apprehended coming across the border over the Fourth of July weekend.

According to CBP data, there have been 6,918 arrests of “criminal noncitizens” by Border Patrol in FY 2021 up until the end of May, with four months still to be recorded in the fiscal year — significantly higher than FY 2020 (2,438 arrests) and FY 2019 (4,269). It is just above FY 2018’s 6,698 arrests and could exceed the 8,531 arrests in FY 2017 — although it is unlikely to exceed the 12,842 arrests made in FY 2016.

Migrants arrested coming across the border this fiscal year have so far included 353 convictions for sex offenses, compared to 156 last fiscal year and 58 in FY 2019.

There were more than 180,000 migrant encounters in May overall, and that number is largely expected to remain around the same level in June. Republicans have blamed the Biden administration for rolling back key Trump-era policies for the surge, while the administration has blamed “root causes” like violence and climate change in Central America.

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