ROMA, Texas — Cartel-connected human smugglers moved their operations from hiding in the remote outskirts of Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, Mexico to the heart of this Texas border city less than one hundred yards from the Roma International Bridge. The smugglers faced no opposition from Mexican law enforcement authorities as they crossed hundreds of Central American migrants into the United States.
A popular scenic overlook on the Rio Grande in Roma, Texas, affords a birds-eye view of this large-scale human smuggling operation. Friday evening, Breitbart Texas visited Roma and observed the smuggling operation in full swing as they moved nearly 400 migrants into the heart of the downtown area. Exclusive video shows traffickers bringing the migrants across the Rio Grande and delivering them into the hands of Army National Guard troops patrolling the riverbank. The operations take place with smugglers making no pretense of attempting to hide their activity. Migrant groups interviewed by Breitbart Texas were mostly Central American family units and also included several unaccompanied migrant children.
The Texas National Guard soldiers gather the migrants as rafts deliver them through the darkness in a series of back-and-forth trips across the Rio Grande. After multiple deliveries, the soldiers escort the migrants into the Roma town square in groups of 50 or more. Within feet of the entrance to the Roma City Hall, Border Patrol takes custody of the migrants and record basic biographical information. The migrants sit in the dimly lit town square for hours waiting for a ride to a Border Patrol processing center.
The Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley Sector is overwhelmed with the volume of migrants crossing daily and lacks the transportation resources to quickly move the migrants to their processing facilities. The outdoor detention is commonplace in Rio Grande Valley cities and in other southwest border locations.
A Border Patrol agent, not authorized to speak to the media, says the cartels decided to move their operations closer to the heart of the city. When asked why he thought Mexican law enforcement were not stopping the cartel smuggling, which is also illegal in Mexico, he said, “because they work for the cartel.” As reported by Breitbart Texas, human trafficking is closely controlled by the cartels.
In the video, the smuggler announces to the National Guard soldiers he is done for the night and will bring no more across. By this time, it’s well after midnight and several rafts delivered nearly 400 migrants unabated into the heart of Roma.
According to a source within CBP, most of the migrants will be released to the Catholic Charities Respite Center in downtown McAllen. There, the migrants will await transportation to other United States cities.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.