Texas law enforcement officials described an increase in human smuggling activity at the border following the end of the Title 42 asylum policy. The end of the Trump-era program resulted in a migrant surge coming into the country, followed by a brief lull and now another increase.
Deputies from the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office, which is 30 miles from the Mexican border, described a new increase in coyotes bringing people into the United States.
Chief Deputy Ricardo Rios told Breitbart News that it was “back to business as usual.”
The department described the use of stolen vehicles to sneak people over the border.
This often results in car chases involving its deputies. In particular, the law enforcement officers described how such human smugglers would steal vehicles from Texas’ larger cities in order to use them in their operations.
This is what the post-Title 42 border looks like a lot of every day pic.twitter.com/5ZmUWTJ1VX
— Todd Bensman (@BensmanTodd) June 1, 2023
The sheriff’s office described fifteen such smuggling cases over one week, including a major car chase. In that case, the driver was from Mexico and reportedly swallowed a balloon filled with heroin. The driver crashed the vehicle into a fence at a house, causing significant damage.
The department described taking in 44 migrants, while in other cases the suspected migrants were able to escape.
Last month saw more than 50,000 migrants able to arrive into the United States without being brought in by law enforcement.
The southern border as a whole saw more than 165,000 migrants caught by law enforcement, overall. In particular, the Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas saw the largest number of migrants attempting to cross the border, at 36,000.
Title 42 was a policy begun by former President Donald Trump during the coronavirus pandemic. The limitations on asylum played a role in a sharp decline in attempted border crossings.
However, following the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the number of such crossings increased markedly. The decision to end the policy led to a major wave of new migrants arriving at the border.
This included the highest number of migrant encounters by federal border officers yet recorded. The increased number of migrants prompted actions by several states, including Texas, to attempt to secure the border.