Border Patrol agents find 12 migrants being illegally smuggled in STORM DRAINS in El Paso
- Dozens of illegal immigrants caught using Texas tunnels to sneak illegally into the US
- Smugglers often use city drains to smuggle migrants into West Texas
- Migrants often require rescue from storm drains due to the high risks and dangers involved
A dozen illegal immigrants were caught trying to sneak into the country through storm drains in Texas’ sixth-largest city.
Photos shared by authorities show an open manhole, revealing many people in the sewer.
Border Patrol agents were tipped off to the presence of migrants in the tunnels in West Texas last Wednesday when they saw two people, suspected smugglers, leaving the tunnels and running back to Mexico, the agency told DailyMail.com.
For the past year and a half, El Paso has been at the center of the border crisis – causing 188,778 migrants to enter the country illegally in the month of October alone.
In recent months, the number of illegal immigrants in El Paso has dropped, making it the fourth busiest place along the U.S. southern border.
A dozen illegal immigrants were discovered Wednesday sneaking into El Paso, Texas through the city’s underground storm drainage tunnels
In February, the El Paso Fire Department was forced to cut open a manhole leading into the city’s storm tunnel system to rescue trapped migrants.
Smugglers will lead illegal immigrants, who have paid to be trafficked, into the country and into storm tunnels, but the smugglers will not navigate the tunnels themselves because they are considered too dangerous.
The agency denounced the cartel’s “cruel smuggling practices,” which “could lead to possible injury or even death.”
“Migrants also face the possibility of drowning or suffocation as some of these storm drains are only a few centimeters in diameter and pose a threat to migrants as they can become trapped with limited access to air,” a spokesperson explained.
El Paso, which is located right on the U.S.-Mexico border, has storm water vents leading into the Rio Grande. The river serves as the international border between the US and Mexico.
Cartels will break into the necessary storm openings, which are welded shut, to sneak unknown and unvetted people into the Lone Star State.
A camera in El Paso’s storm system alerted Border Patrol agents in June to the presence of illegal immigrants in the tunnels
In the June incident, Border Patrol agents also found oxygen tanks to help smugglers and migrants in case of loss of air and tools to break into storm drains, the agency confirmed.
The Border Patrol’s Confined Space Entry Team is tasked with penetrating the tunnels under El Paso and capturing illegal immigrants who use the storm drainage system to evade authorities.
“El Paso’s storm drainage system is very large and complex and often carries toxic and hazardous materials that pose serious health risks,” Border Patrol tweeted. El Paso Sector Chief Anthony “Scott” Good.
In the latest incident, after officers spotted the smugglers running back into Mexico, officers alerted the department’s Confined Space Entry Team to a possible illegal entry.
The team found the migrants, from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Mexico, in the sewer system near the El Paso Zoo.
They were all taken into custody for illegally entering the US.
In addition to the risk of drowning, migrants can also get lost in the tunnel or be unable to get out.
In an earlier rescue in February, a manhole leading to the streets of El Paso had to be sewn open by the city’s fire department so that trapped migrants could get out.
Seventeen suspected illegal immigrants were arrested in that incident.