RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (FOX 26) - Governor Greg Abbott is deploying hundreds of National Guard members to the Texas-Mexico border to assist border patrol agents. So, what is a day in the life a border patrol agent like?
FOX 26’s Maria Salazar rode along with Supervisory Agent Daniel Tirado and Agent Carlos Ruiz in the Rio Grande Valley.
Ruiz spotted a group of migrants near the Rio Grande River in Mission, Texas.
“I immediately stopped the vehicle, jumped out of the vehicle, started running behind them,” recalls Ruiz.
“The individuals have just physically made landfall on the US side, probably 50 feet from the Rio Grande River when they saw our vehicle. Of course, as soon as they saw us, they ran back South,” said Tirado.
Ruiz caught up to seven men along the river bank.
The agents say it is their mission to prevent illegal entry into the United States.
“They didn't resist, they decided to come with me,” said Ruiz.
The migrants said they didn’t know each other and they met along their journey. They came from Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.
Antonio, one of the migrants, is from Guatemala. He says he hoped to make it to Houston to be with his three kids and find a job in construction. He began his journey about month and half ago and paid 60,000 quetzales, or about 8,000 U.S. dollars, to make the trip.
He was fighting back tears. He said he would have to call his children and tell them he failed them.
Two of the migrants were minors. Tirado says they admitted to being paid $120 to bring the group across the border.
“It's very common to encounter subjects that are juveniles or underage kids from Mexico that are utilized as smugglers. They try to find the loopholes in the system to avoid being prosecuted,” he explained.
Tirado and Ruiz called for a van to transport the group to the border patrol station where they’ll gather fingerprints and run background checks.
Most of the men seem to understand, they’ll likely be deported to their home countries.