By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square contributor
U.S. Border Patrol agents continue to apprehend foreign nationals illegally entering Texas who are known child sex offenders.
In one of the heaviest trafficked areas along the southwest border in Texas, Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Juan Bernal reported agents had apprehended 21 convicted child sex offenders in less than two months.
“In less than two months, Del Rio Sector agents have apprehended 21 convicted sex offenders attempting to enter the country illegally. Due to the hard work and dedication of our agents, these dangerous individuals were not able to enter our country,” he said.
Bernal also posted mugshots of the convicted offenders on social media.
The men were previously convicted of sexually assaulting minors with charges ranging from first to third degrees. They include sexual assault sodomy, rape in the first degree to a minor, indecency with a child sexual contact, felony charge for enticing a child with intent, aggravated sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child/exposure, sexual contact with a child, lewd and lascivious battery on a child, rape of a minor, among others.
Of the more than 1.9 million people who illegally entered Texas in fiscal 2023, the second greatest number were apprehended in the Del Rio Sector. Border Patrol agents alone apprehended 393,226 people and reported 180,034 known gotaways in the Del Rio Sector, The Center Square exclusively reported.
The sector covers 245 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border along the Rio Grande River, including Lake Amistad, and reaches 300 miles into Texas from the border. Del Rio Sector agents are responsible for covering 55,063 square miles in 47 counties – nearly 20% of Texas’ 254 counties. The majority of the area is rural farm and ranchland.
Their work is in addition to ICE agents continuing to apprehend sex offenders and rapists nationwide, including those attempting to leave the country after they’ve illegally entered and committed crimes.
Nationwide, the greatest number of illegal foreign nationals apprehended with known sexual offenses was 488 in fiscal 2021, according to CBP data. The numbers have gone down as fewer agents are in the field on patrol, instead tasked with processing record numbers of people arriving at the border.
In fiscal 2022, 365 known sexual offenders were apprehended; in fiscal 2023, 284 were. Prior to Bernal’s announcement, 19 sexual offenders had been apprehended nationwide fiscal year to date as of Nov. 14.
Republished with the permission of The Center Square.