(CNSNews.com) - Rodolfo Karisch, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector, told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Management and Accountability on Thursday, that the Border Patrol in his sector has intercepted illegal aliens trying to enter the United States “from 40 different countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, Romania and China.”
“I want to provide some perspective on the challenges facing our men and women at the Southwest border,” Karisch told the committee in his opening statement. “Though I cannot speak for all of the components of Customs and Border Protection, I can provide a first-hand account of the complex border-security environment and ask for your assistance in helping our frontline men and women.
“In our line of work, Border Patrol agents rarely know exactly who or what they will encounter,” he said.
“In a single day,” he said, “and agent may arrest a violent felon, encounter a large group of families and children, or rescue a drowning migrant sent into the river by smugglers.”
Karisch told the committee that in his sector, the Border Patrol apprehends “nearly a thousand people between the ports of entry each day.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has divided the U.S.-Mexico border into nine Border Patrol Sectors. Running from the Pacific Coast to the Gulf of Mexico, these include: the San Diego Sector, the El Centro Sector, the Yuma Sector, the Tucson Sector, the El Paso Sector, the Big Bend Sector, the Del Rio Sector, the Laredo Sector, and the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
[Government Accountablity Office map of U.S. Border Patrol Sectors]
Although most of the illegal aliens the Border Patrol intercepts in the Rio Grande Sector come from Central America, Karisch explained that agents in his sector have apprehended illegal aliens from “all over the world.”
“The majority of the apprehensions are family units and unaccompanied children from Central America, and many travel in large groups of a hundred or more,” the Rio Grande Valley Sector chief said.
“In addition to the high volume of Central Americans, we encounter people from all over the world, many of whom don’t want to be caught,” he said.
“In my sector alone, we have encountered aliens from 40 different countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, Romania and China,” he said. “People are travelling thousands of miles across hemispheres to attempt to illegally enter the United States, using the same pathways as Central Americans.
“Contrast this incoming tide of migrants,” Karisch told the committee, “with our limited resources and infrastructure at the Southwest border, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley and Tucson Sector.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has published a spread sheet listing the number of illegal aliens apprehended in each border sector in 2017 by their nation of citizenship.
Of the 303,916 who were apprehended that year along the U.S.-Mexico border, only 127,938—or approximately 42.1 percent—were from Mexico.
1,364 of the deportable aliens intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017 were from the People’s Republic of China. Of these, 702 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
564 deportable aliens from Bangladesh were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. Of these, 304 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
433 deportable aliens from Romania were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. Of these, 94 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
35 deportable aliens from Turkey were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017. Of these, 21 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.