Approximately 200 illegal immigrants including at least 40 unaccompanied minors were apprehended in frigid temperatures in Mission, Texas after being smuggled into the U.S., according to border officials.
The illegal immigrants were accompanied across the border by “human smugglers,” according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Rio Grande Valley Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings. It was around Wednesday night at 8 p.m. CST when Hastings tweeted about the apprehensions.
“Nobody comes across that river without a smuggler. Nobody just walks up to the bridge and goes across. A smuggler put them in a raft and paddled them across, probably told them to go up to that road, take a left until you walk into an agent,” CBP Public Affairs Officer Rod Kise told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Last night, nearly 200 illegal aliens were apprehended in frigid temperatures in Mission, TX, to include 44 unaccompanied children.
— Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings (@USBPChiefRGV) February 18, 2021
According to the report, most of the illegal immigrants were likely transferred from CBP into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, though it is unknown whether the illegal immigrants were deported or released into the interior of the U.S. since that is determined on a case-by-case basis, Kise told the DCNF.
It remains unclear where the 44 unaccompanied minors will be held, though they will be processed at a Border Patrol facility, Border Patrol Special Operations Supervisor Christian Alvarez told the DCNF.
“The UAC’s [unaccompanied alien child] will be processed accordingly in one of our processing centers,” Kise told the DCNF.
ICE declined to say whether any of the illegal immigrants apprehended by CBP were in their custody, though a spokesperson said the agency makes custody determinations on a case-by-case basis.
According to a report by The Daily Caller, The Biden administration plans on opening a “Trump-era” private overflow facility to hold unaccompanied minors as their immigration cases are processed around three hours from where the illegal immigrants were apprehended. They anticipate it will be needed within the next week.
Biden previously said of migrant detention during a Democratic primary debate, “What Latinos should look at is, comparing this president to the president we have is outrageous, number one.”
He continued, “We didn’t lock people up in cages. We didn’t separate families. We didn’t do all of those things”, The news outlet reported.
Around 5,700 unaccompanied minors are currently in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).