Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Laredo Sector
Border Patrol agents in the Laredo Sector are sounding the alarm after they recently apprehended two Syrian nationals who illegally crossed the border from Mexico into South Texas. The agents say the arrest of the Syrians confirms there is a human smuggling pipeline from countries with connections to terrorism into the U.S.
“We don’t know the intentions of the two Syrians we caught sneaking across the border into Texas,” U.S. Border Patrol Agent Hector Garza told Breitbart Texas in his capacity as president of the National Border Patrol Council 2455. “What we do know is that if the cartel-connected smugglers can bring people with good intentions across the border, they can also bring people with bad intentions.”
The two Syrian nationals apprehended on May 7, crossed the border in the same part of Laredo as nearly 230 Bangladeshi nationals have been apprehended. Garza explained that all drug and human smuggling in this area is controlled by the Los Zetas cartel.
“Laredo is a prime target for these ruthless smugglers because of our sector’s shortage of manpower and the lack of a physical barrier,” Garza explained in an interview with Breitbart Texas on Thursday. “We have 170 miles of river border with Mexico. Not one mile of that border has a physical barrier. We are wide open for these drug and human smugglers.”
“It is because of the hard work of the men and women who work as Border Patrol agents in the Laredo Sector that we are able to capture as many as we can,” he said.
Garza said that the region where these people are crossed into Texas is “notorious for extremely violent drug smugglers.”
“They don’t care what happens to the people who they smuggle,” Garza said, “and they sure don’t care about what happens to a Border Patrol agent who might get in their way. They are in it for the profit they can make today — nothing else.”
Breitbart Texas spoke with several officials from the Laredo Sector on Friday at the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas. From frontline agents to the sector chief, the Border Patrol officials all expressed concern about the increasing numbers of foreign nationals crossing the border from countries with ties to terrorism.
“You have to look not only at the numbers of folks coming across in our Area of Responsibility (AOR),” Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens explained in a recent interview, “but also, who they are and where they’re from because that very much affects how we meet the threat.”
“When we talk about the different groups that are crossing into an area, what we’re trying to draw attention to is a more comprehensive look at our threat picture,” Chief Owens continued. “We need to stay away from just focusing on the family units and Unaccompanied Alien Children that are coming from Central America and Mexico. What the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol are dealing with on a daily basis is so much more complex than that.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.
(Disclosure: Breitbart Texas sponsored the Green Line podcast for the NBPC in an effort to provide a platform for agents to inform the public about the realities on the border and what Border Patrol agents face. Director Brandon Darby received an award from the Laredo chapter of the NBPC for his work in helping to defend and bring a voice to Border Patrol agents. Breitbart News assisted in covering funeral costs for a slain Border Patrol agent previously.)