Ex-border agent living in Bangs says undocumented kids get trafficked by smugglers
BROWNWOOD, Texas —
A retired United States Border Patrol Agent who lives in Bangs said that undocumented children are constantly being smuggled across the border, which is creating a dangerous situation for both minors and border patrol agents.
Sam Sadler of Bangs said that he spent 25 years patrolling the southwest border and was stationed at border entries in California and New Mexico.
As the Trump Administration ended its policy of separating undocumented families on Wednesday, Sadler said that the border patrol agents are simply following the law.
"Illegal entry is a crime," Sadler said on Wednesday. "It just doesn't get any clearer than that."
Before retiring in 2014, Sadler said that he worked under five U.S. presidents, but he saw a shift after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when United States Border Patrol became part of the Department of Homeland Security.
"Under [George W.] Bush, we saw lots of resources come our way," Sadler said.
According to Sadler, when he began serving as a border patrol agent in 1987, the number of border patrol agents was at 3,000, but it jumped to nearly 20,000 border patrol agents by the time he left, where it still remains.
Despite the increase in border patrol agents, Sadler said that human smugglers have become more sophisticated.
"Very few folks come to the international line and are looking to cross into the United States illegally and don't have a smuggler," Sadler said.
According to United States Border Patrol data, there was a four percent increase this year compared to the same time in 2017 in unaccompanied minors being apprehended at the border, but the number of undocumented families during that time span apprehended there has decreased three percent.
The United States Border Patrol reports that the largest increases in apprehensions have come at border entries in California and Arizona, with the border entries being in El Centro and San Diego in California and in Tucson and Yuma in Arizona.
Last year, 294 people died trying to reach the border, according to United States Border Patrol.
The agency also reports that the largest group of people apprehended at the border are from Guatemala, who claim to be fleeing violence and are seeking asylum.