While Americans across the country remembered the men and women who died for freedom on Memorial Day, a record number of illegal immigrants streamed into downtown El Paso, Texas.
Border Patrol officials told KVIA Memorial Day was “the busiest recent day of enforcement activity for the El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents during the ongoing influx” that’s expected to reach 1 million illegals across the border into the U.S. in fiscal year 2019.
More than 2,200 illegal immigrants were apprehended in that sector alone, which included several large groups of hundreds crossing at a time. About 1,850 of the apprehensions involved illegal immigrants who wandered across in the “geographic area between Executive Boulevard and Midway Street in El Paso,” officials told the news site.
The first large group of about 200 illegal immigrants crossed in New Mexico near the Antelope Wells Port of Entry around 2 a.m., followed by another group of about 430 near Bowie High School in El Paso at about 7 a.m., Border Patrol said.
The second “enormous group was one of the largest in El Paso Sector thus far,” agents told the news site.
“This fiscal year to date, the El Paso Sector has arrested over 130,000 illegal aliens, compared to over 16,000 during the same time last fiscal year,” Border Patrol said in a statement.
The groups coming in over Memorial Day, like most at the border, “were comprised of mostly Central American families and unaccompanied children,” the statement read.
“All of the illegal aliens were taken into custody for processing to include initial medical screenings. They will remain in U.S. Border Patrol custody until they are processed accordingly.”
Processing centers in several sectors are at capacity, as are local shelters, forcing officials to simply release the illegal immigrants with a court date months in the future. The number of illegal immigrants who simply cross freely into America and are not arrested by federal officials is unknown.
In total, federal agents have apprehended or processed for asylum 628,194 illegal immigrants from October 1 through April 30, nearly matching the total of 683,178 in all of fiscal year 2018, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics.
With five months still to go in fiscal year 2019, officials are not optimistic things will improve any time soon.
“U.S. Border Patrol Agents continue to deal with this influx of illegal aliens entering our country with no respect for our immigration laws,” CBP said in a statement. “The numbers continue to rise and agents see no end in sight for this current situation.”