UVALDE, Texas (Border Report) — A random traffic stop led to the arrest of five undocumented migrants in this Southwest Texas rural town on Friday, one of whom was peeled out of a compartment in the trunk where he had been hiding.
Border Report witnessed several Uvalde police officers arrest the group of four migrants who were cornered and sitting with their backs to the wall of a gas station around 10 a.m. CST. The police officer searched their backpacks and questioned them in Spanish.
But, after a U.S. Border Patrol agent arrived, a man in a bright blue shirt emerged from the trunk of the older-model vehicle where he had been hiding for several minutes after the others had been apprehended.
This is standard in this part of Southwest Texas where many migrant adults try to elude capture and enter the country illegally, Uvalde Police Officer Jessica Zamora told Border Report.
“We have had a lot of encounters recently, especially when it comes to pursuits and undocumented individuals coming in. So, this is something that’s become routine for us lately,” Zamora said.
Zamora said large groups will try to cross and there are many bail outs, chases and vandalism of local property in this city of just 15,000 that is near a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on the main highway leading in and out of town.
Friday’s stop was just a random traffic stop. There was no chase, Zamora said.
“It was a traffic stop. A cold stop and the officer came across undocumented individuals in the vehicle,” Zamora said.
Border Patrol agents said they could not comment on the arrest or what would happen to the migrants.
None of the migrants wanted to answer questions.
The arrest came less than a day after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a Border Law Enforcement Summit in Del Rio, Texas, about 1.5 hours away because he said the area is currently the epicenter for unlawful entries by migrants.
During the summit, Abbott announced that he has asked local law enforcement and border leaders in 34 counties to assist with the arrest of migrants, said Texas would build its own border wall, and formed a task force that will meet regularly with local stakeholders to fix the “border crisis.”
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at Ssanchez@borderreport.com.