EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — While driving down El Paso’s Border Highway, holes can be seen cut into the chain link fence that runs along the canal and border fence, and with only a few Border Patrol agents in the area, Texas Department of Safety troopers are mainly the ones patrolling the border.
“What we’re trying to do is assist Border Patrol, we stop, we talk to the migrants that are coming over and we just want them to get properly processed by Border Patrol,” said Eliot Torres, a DPS spokesman.
On Thursday, a migrant could be seen hanging onto the border fence while a DPS trooper waited for him below.
“Basically, when we encounter something like that, unless something criminal is happening, we’ll call for Border Patrol to come by and pick them up and all we do is document that event and how many migrants and where they came over,” Torres said.
As KTSM 9 News reported, Border Patrol agents have been processing migrants.
Former Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent in Tucson and El Paso Victor Manjarrez says there are far more agents processing than actually patrolling the border.
“That brings up a couple of things that are a concern. Number one is the individuals that are coming across the vast majority are economic migrants they’re simply looking for a job but historically anywhere from 15 to 18 percent of those people who are arrested have a criminal background,” said Manjarrez, who is the associate director of the Center for Law and Human Behavior at the University of Texas at El Paso.
He added that he expects the number of migrants crossing to only go up.
“I suspect in the spring we’re going to look to December 2022 and say well that was a slow period of time. I’m fearful that these numbers are going to drastically continue to shoot up,” he said.