An El Paso man was sitting on his porch late at night this week when a mob of illegal immigrants came waltzing down his street.
Moments later, four of the men climbed over a concrete stone wall and into the courtyard of Ed Gonzalez’s home, where he cares for his elderly bedridden mother, KVIA reports.
“I was here by myself, four guys here, and I was afraid of getting jumped,” Gonzalez said.
He yelled at the men repeatedly, and they eventually dashed off, though they left a lingering impression.
“As soon as I yelled at them a second time – vamonos (leave) – I could see the look of fear in their eyes,” Gonzalez told the television station.
The homeowner said he lives three miles from the border and doesn’t typically see illegal immigrants coming through his neighborhood. Gonzalez called 911 to report the encounter, but no one bothered to show up, he said.
“This is one of the more secure areas. You don’t have this kind of stuff here at night,” he said. “For them to all of a sudden come out in a mob like that, that surprised the heck out of me.”
“I counted from that little group, of maybe 15 to 20,” Gonzalez said. “Then shortly after, some more came by, about 10 or something like that.”
The incident is an example of the new reality in America as thousands of illegal immigrants flood across the border every day, some who turn themselves in to seek asylum and others who simply disappear into the darkness.
“I know the individuals that get stopped and ask for asylum, I think that’s the right way to do it,” Gonzalez told KVIA. “And maybe they should’ve done it. And if they hadn’t run off, maybe I would advise them to go turn themselves in.”
Through April of Fiscal Year 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has apprehended 464,817 illegal immigrants at the southern border while another 163,377 presented themselves to agents at ports of entry or elsewhere. That’s a total of 628,194 – roughly the population of Baltimore, Maryland – in just the first seven months of the year.
In all of Fiscal Year 2018, the total was 683,178, according to CBP stats.
El Paso has been a particularly heavy traffic area for illegal immigrants, with 670 crossing there in a single day earlier this month. Most now come with children in tow, because they know U.S. immigration laws ensure they will be released more quickly with a “family unit.”
“This is an ongoing situation that Border Patrol Agents face in southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas: Hundreds of parents and children are being encountered by agents after having faced a dangerous trek north in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers,” U.S. Border Patrol said in a prepared statement, the El Paso Times reports.
“Criminal organizations continue to exploit innocent human lives in order to enhance their illicit activities without regard to the risks of human life.”
Many of the children coming across the border aren’t actually related to the adults they’re with, using fake birth certificates and other documents to “create fake families seeking to exploit U.S. immigration laws,” according to Border Patrol.
“ICE Homeland Security Investigations is redirecting resources to the border in response to cases of fake families using forged documents to illegally enter our country to avoid detention. Our highly-skilled teams are working to stop individuals, networks and organizations facilitating child smuggling and document fraud,” ICE Acting Director Mathew Albence said. “ICE along with our partners at CBP, remain committed to protecting children by ensuring they are not used as pawns by individuals attempting to gain entry to the U.S. through fraud.”