(CNSNews.com) - "Well, we're seeing an unprecedented number of people crossing the border illegally as family units," Aaron Hull, the chief for the El Paso Border Patrol sector, told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.
Hull said there's been a 600 percent increase in arrivals, most of them family units, in the current fiscal year to date, compared with the same period in the prior fiscal year.
And many of those people are sick, he said, a situation that forces Border Patrol agents to divert from their main mission.
Hull called it a "huge resource drain."
"Agents join the Patrol to secure the border, to enforce the law, but increasingly they're being tasked with things that they never thought they would be doing -- heating up baby bottles, literally changing diapers, caring for more and more sick people, because a lot of these aliens coming in are carrying contagious health conditions, things like chicken pox, scabies, tuberculosis, lice."
Hull said the Border Patrol has its own emergency medical technicians and paramedics, who treat the people they're able to help, and they have contract medical support for more serious cases, but it costs a lot of money to take people to the hospital.
"We have had to deal with pregnancies and all types of medical conditions that occur when you have family unit aliens."
Hull said 90 percent of the illegal aliens walking into the El Paso sector are from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. And he repeated what so many Americans have heard over and over again:
"Those people realize that as long as they're being apprehended by us, they are still likely to be released on their own recognizance. That's because the country, the U.S. government as a whole, does not have the detention and removal capability to hold them in custody until their immigration hearing.
"When they know that they are going to be released, even though they're caught, it serves as a huge draw to enter this country illegally."
"So they want to get apprehended," Bartiromo said. She was reporting from the El Paso border sector and watched several family unit cross into the U.S.
"Yeah, they're not trying to get away," Hull said. "They know that we're basically -- a period of time, they are going to be held in custody and then they're going to be released and continue on to all parts of the United States."
Bartiromo said one of the illegal aliens she spoke with told her she wasn't fleeing from danger:
"You know, yesterday when we were talking with some of the migrants, I asked one woman, I said, why are you here? She said 'asylum, asylum.' She spoke Spanish, and I said 'Oh, well what's happening there? Did they try to hurt you?' She said, well actually, I just want to get opportunity for my daughter. So they are seeing America as just an opportunity for their families. It's not necessarily that they're fleeing.
"That's exactly right," Hull said. "A lot of people refer to all of these family units as asylum seekers but that's really not the case. Matter of fact, most of those that we encounter when they're caught at this step in the process, they don't indicate fear of return. They indicate they want better opportunity."