ROMA, Texas — Border Patrol agents stood in the city’s town square processing a continuous flow of mostly Central American migrants eagerly seeking to surrender. The groups, escorted from the banks of the Rio Grande by Army National Guardsmen and Roma Police, numbered more than 200 in a few hours on Tuesday alone.
Human traffickers in Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, ferried the migrants in inflatable rafts. Soldiers stood watch on the riverbank observing the smugglers conduct their business. Once on U.S. soil, soldiers led the migrants into the city in groups of 30 or more.
Border Patrol agents took biographical information from the migrants as they waited for transportation to a processing center and likely release. As reported by Breitbart Texas, the routine is a nightly affair for all parties involved.
The process flows smoothly on both sides of the border. In Mexico, trucks move quietly in the darkness to unload migrants and deliver them to the river guides. The migrants, who have already paid the Gulf Cartel for the right to cross the river, wear wrist bracelets as proof of payment.
Almost on the half hour, each group is lined up along the U.S. side of the river and instructed to march into the city. As the migrants emerge from the darkness, Roma Police escort the migrants to Border Patrol per a federal grant program.
The population of Roma is slightly greater than 11,000. The number of migrants crossing into the city will eclipse that number in less than one month at the current pace, according to a source within CBP. Roma does not have a Border Patrol station in the city proper and the apprehensions are carried under the nearby Rio Grande City hub.
Overall, the source says, the numbers are not waning as the new fiscal year begins. According to the source, more than 9,000 migrants have been apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the last week.
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.