Texas law enforcement arrests human smuggler bringing illegal immigrants to US on a raft – Yahoo News
FIRST ON FOX: Texas law enforcement on Tuesday conducted an operation that led to the arrest of a suspected cartel-associated human smuggler, who was bringing in seven illegal immigrants into the United States on a raft.
Rafts have been coming across the border for months without any resistance or challenge from authorities, and Tuesday marked the first time that Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas National Guard caught a smuggler in the act.
BORDER CRISIS OVERWHELMING OFFICIALS, COMMUNITIES AS MIGRANT NUMBERS KEEP SURGING
The 17-year-old smuggler — who is believed to have low level connections to a cartel — resisted arrest and assaulted troopers, but was ultimately detained. He had previously been arrested twice for human smuggling, DPS said in a statement.
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Along with the smuggler were seven other illegal immigrants — including a previously deported Salvadoran felon with convictions for sexual assault.
"At the direction of Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas Military Department are committed to securing the Texas border. As part of Operation Lone Star (OLS), Texas DPS continues to enforce all state violations of law including, but not limited to, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, smuggling and human trafficking," DPS said in a statement.
"As illegal immigrants continue to surge the Texas-Mexico border and criminal organizations continue to exploit the current border crisis, Texas DPS and Texas National Guard are taking action in combating human smugglers and deterring mass migration, and stand ready to protect the people and property of the state of Texas."
There were more than 1.7 million migrants encounters in Fiscal Year 2021, and more than 192,000 in September alone.
Texas lawmakers, including Gov. Abbott, have blamed the Biden administration for the crisis at the border — with Abbott shifting Texas DPS resources to combat the surge. During a recent influx of Haitian migrants at the border, DPS created a wall of vehicles to stop migrants entering the U.S. illegally.
The state putting down a $250 million down payment on a new wall construction project after the Biden administration abruptly ended the project in January. Additionally, it has cleared out jails to hold more illegal immigrants and made efforts to arrest those coming in illegally, including the additional deployment of DPS resources.
Meanwhile, officers have seen a dramatic increase in vehicular pursuits, with some parts seeing a 1000%+ increase in the number of vehicle pursuits — often packed with illegal immigrants — in over the same time last year.
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