MCALLEN, Texas — Gang members and immigrants with extensive criminal records continue making their way across our border. With over 8,000 undocumented immigrants currently in custody in the Rio Grande Valley sector, Border Patrol agents say they continue encountering individuals with ties to notorious gangs.
Marcelino Medina, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent, “We do see a large number of family units and unaccompanied children that are coming through this area and often at times we do identify individuals in those groups as criminal aliens and gang members.”
The way to identify them?
“Traditionally we do identify a lot gang members through tattoos and interviews. We also identify gang members and criminal aliens through running their Biometrics in our databases. A lot of times they have committed crimes in the United States which shows up after we run their finger prints in our systems.” says Agent Medina.
A man attempting to enter the U.S. with his four year old son was arrested after records showed he was previously arrested and convicted for sexual battery in Oakland, California. In another incident, agents arrested a Mexican national previously arrested for kidnapping and rape in Pennsylvania.
Border Patrol RGV Sector Chief Rodolfo Karisch, “There’s also another agreement on criminal aliens mostly applies to ICE. If a person who is a criminal alien in their country is identified and that country is not willing to take them back we’re forced to release.”
A local resident says he lives in fear of the potential danger this puts on his family adding communities need more security.
Border Patrol says the “Se Busca Initiative” has proven to be successful in capturing criminals on both sides of the border. Since the initiative began more than half of the criminals on that list have been arrested.