RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (Fox 26) - With more help on the way, Supervisory Agent Daniel Tirado with the U.S. Border Patrol says it sends a message to those bringing crime and drugs through the Southwest border.
“We mean business, that we are going to stand firm as we receive additional resources. We're going to be deploying more agents out to the field in order to secure this area,” said Tirado referring to the section of the border along the Rio Grande Valley.
By the end of this week, 900 National Guard service members are expected to be on the ground along the Texas-Mexico border. Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s goal is to have 1,400 in the coming weeks.
Tirado says the agency needs the help.
“The fact that we lack the infrastructure, the technology, and the personnel it creates a chaotic environment because it does become the path of least resistance for the smugglers so they tend to gravitate to this area,” Tirado added.
He says border crossings in the Rio Grande Valley make up half of all crossing along the southwest border. In the past couple of months, Tirado adds border crossings have been on the rise, much like in 2014 when agents detained more than half a million migrants.
“I think it's important to be prepared for an influx of that nature,” Tirado told FOX 26.
The National Guard helps with non-enforcement duties, and that frees up border patrol agents to be able to make more arrests. Tirado adds in the long term, the agency is also looking for other types of help including all-weather roads.
“Without that infrastructure in place, without those roads, it makes it a little bit more challenging for agents to come out here and do our job,” he explained.
Ideally, Tirado says there needs to be more border patrol agents.