POSTED: Monday, August 19, 2013 - 5:32pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 9:03am
EDINBURG, TX (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — The U.S. Border Patrol is currently training hundreds of new agents, and today more than 50 trainees were sworn in to begin the next step in eventually doing their part to protect the border.
This group is part of 350 new Border Patrol agents who are entering duty in the Rio Grande Valley sector between August 5 and September 19. Border Patrol spokesperson Enrique Mendiola says these new agents will be spread out in areas with a great need for additional boots.
"Pretty much every sector will be receiving some of these assets and some of these resources over the next few months. These agents are expected to be back in the field probably by mid-February, by the time they all come back and cycle through," said Mendiola.
The RGV sector will see an increase of 700 new agents by the end of the fiscal year, bringing their total up to 3,100 Border Patrol agents and the highest amount to date. Due to the higher flow of traffic at the border, Chief Patrol Agent Rosendo Hinojosa says this increase is necessary.
"These are additional resources that are coming that have been redirected [to the Rio Grande Valley]," he said. "These trainees were going elsewhere, and obviously the need is greater here so they redirected it here, but it's not because of any individual."
This last statement refers to the pressure and attention that government representatives have been placing on the border area, calling for heightened security and man power.
Mendiola explains that this increase in agents is due to the actual rise in apprehensions at the border.
"When we've nearly doubled our apprehension numbers, certainly the more agents we can bring in to the sector to make those additional arrests are always going to be welcomed," he said.
Among those being welcomed is Alexander Forbes. Although this week is his first time down to the Valley, Forbes is confident in his ability to serve as a future Border Patrol agent.
"I've had a lot of emergency situations that have required me to think on my feet and make a decision and stick to it," Forbes said. "I think that's going to be crucial in my success in the Border Patrol."